Grey Day at Manor Farm

European Robin
European Robin
Overnight I didn’t hold out much hope for today’s walk, the weather forecast was predicting dark grey clouds for most of the day so I was a little surprised to wake to a bit of hazy early morning sun, the type of sun that holds no heat and can’t quite break through those thin clouds. 
The weather was unlikely to hold, my back was stiff (two days with over 12 miles walked and 4 cycled are starting to take their toll), and I needed to pop to a couple of shops.

So I made the decision to make my route one to Stony Stratford nature reserve, carry light gear (bins camera and macro lens, I have my eye on some early snowdrops) and then head to the shops in the small market town the Milton Keynes enveloped many years ago.

Grey Day at Manor Farm

This of course means my route doesn’t actually include the lakes, so my bird numbers are down, but it does give me the chance to see the less watched part of my patch, and so I started off (as I quite often do) entering the patch via the old churchyard (my snowdrop place) and headed off down towards the river valley.
Snowdrop
Snowdrop
Snowdrop Flower

It’s amazing how wrong you can be. After a few minutes the sun broke through and it remained sunny until I returned home.
Heading through the churchyard there were growing signs of spring everywhere, the Bullfinch seem to be pairing up, bird song is getting louder and more intense, there are signs of buds growing on the trees and the Snow drops are flowering beautifully (there were even some daffodils coming out further along my walk).
Pink Lichen
Pink Lichen

Leaving the Churchyard

It was after leaving the churchyard that things really began to pick up, the cattle fields were full of thrushes, winter visitors like Fieldfare and Redwing being augmented by our resident, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Blackbird and Starling, every where I looked they were picking through the grass and leaf litter.
While continuing around the fields a small flock of 6 Greenfinch flew over calling, as did a lone Linnet and a lone female Reed Bunting. This was pretty much it for birds for the rest of the walk bar a lone Goldcrest behind the pub.

Not the greatest post today I’m afraid, but the walk was pleasant enough.

Date: 04/02/2015
Time: 1 hour 22 minutes
Distance: 2.72 miles

Full Species List

SpeciesCountComments
Canada GooseX
Mute Swan2
Goosander2Flying from mf to stony 1 male 1 female
Grey Heron2
Little Egret1
Common MoorhenX
Black-headed GullX
Common Wood-PigeonX
Eurasian Collared-DoveX
Eurasian Green Woodpecker1
Common MagpieX
Eurasian JackdawX
Carrion CrowX
Great TitX
Blue TitX
Long-tailed TitX
Eurasian Treecreeper1
Eurasian WrenX
Goldcrest1
RobinX
BlackbirdX
FieldfareX
RedwingX
Song ThrushX
Mistle ThrushX
StarlingX
DunnockX
Grey Wagtail1
Pied Wagtail2
Reed Bunting1
ChaffinchX
Bullfinch2Pair churchyard
Greenfinch6
GoldfinchX
Linnet1
House Sparrow3

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