Patch Tick

Patch Tick - Egyptian Goose
Patch Tick – Egyptian Goose

A gusting, blustery, wind whipped hard through the Ouse Valley. The icy cold it carried with it, gathered pace across the lakes of the floodplain forest nature reserve. Occasional spots of rain, driven sideways by the wind, spattered my binoculars. It really wasn’t a day I was expecting a patch tick!

Second Walk

For my second walk of the day – Colin needs a walk too, but isn’t yet ready to join me on my nature walks, he’s still of an age when he wants to chase the ducks! – I headed out onto the Floodplain Forest Nature reserve to see if the strong winds had brought something exciting in.

Sadly the gusting wind was keeping much of the wildlife huddled up to the banks; the few teal, now pairing up for the summer, were carefully picking their way between the weedy margins; Orange sided shovelers held their spade shaped beaks under their wings; Even the 6 Goosander, winter visiting birds, were hunkered down on the islands.

Eurasian Teal taking to flight
Eurasian Teal taking to flight

Patch Tick

And then things took an interesting turn.

Reading the board in the farm hide I spotted a note mentioning either 8 Egyptian geese or Egyptian geese on the 8th. It was below a report of Willow Tit on the 7th so I wasn’t convinced (Willow tits are pretty much extinct locally).

Sitting in the Viaduct hide, the wind was howling through the open slats, it was so ferocious, and cold, that on a few occasions I would rather close the windows than suffer the weather. And I was preparing to leave, when I spotted a pair of pale geese slowly walking out from behind one of the distant islands. Lifting my bins I was greeted with my patch tick.

Distant swimming Egyptian Geese - a patch Tick
Distant swimming Egyptian Geese – a patch Tick

Heading nearer, the nervous geese had already made their way into the middle of the water. I wasn’t any closer than I had been in the hide. So rather than disturb them more I kept walking, only for the pair to fly up off the water and head West towards Stony Stratford. My patch tick was gone again.

Egyptian Geese taking to flight
Egyptian Geese taking to flight
Egyptian Geese in Flight
Egyptian Geese in Flight

River Ouse

The River itself was running high and fast, her water levels buoyed by the snow melt of last week still. The brown waters whipped through, creating eddies as she went, and looking too intimidating to hold many birds.

A Gaggle of Geese - Canada Geese
A Gaggle of Geese – Canada Geese

Drama in the Skies

A quick stop at the farm hide as I wandered back and as is so often the case I was greeted by a stunning, dramatic sky as I left. I’m not sure if it is just it’s position, or the back drop but quite often as you exit the farm hide the skies are full of drama.

I blew the highlights a little here, but I’m sure you can see what I was trying to capture.

Dramatic Skies over the Manor Farm buildings
Dramatic Skies over the Manor Farm buildings

I was also able to grab a few photos of the ponies, I know, I do this a lot, but they are a stunning addition to the reserve and often pose well for photos.

Konik Pony
Konik Pony
Feeding pony with farm buildings in the background
Feeding pony with farm buildings in the background

Another walk over, another few miles added to my walking total for the year.

Other Photos

Grey Heron in Flight
Grey Heron in Flight
Herring Gull
Herring Gull
Herring Gull in Flight
Herring Gull in Flight
Another Konik Pony
Another Konik Pony

Did you enjoy Patch Tick? Or find it useful? The please share with your friends, via the links below.

Like it? Share it!

4 Comments

  • OK I still eat chickens

    Cool. I go past a couple these bad boys every day, they are usually sitting about 50m from my apartment block in the middle of a kids playground. I didn’t know what they were called, now I do. Patch Ticks. Thanks. Egyptian Goose sounds better though. Not dutch playground goose.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.