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|Monday 24th August 2009, 23:14||#1|
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Milton Keynes
Some birding sites around Milton Keynes
The following is an edited version of a response I made to an "out-of-county" query.
Little Linford Wood
This is accessed via a private farm road (past Dairy* Farm) off the Haversham to Tyringham road (permissive access, I believe) to a farm near Gayhurst, and the track goes under the M1, and ends in a small car park. (With the restricted access but close to Three Shires Way and Swans Way, I'm not happy about the security of my car there. It's too quiet.)
I've visited the wood several times, and whilst I've heard birds and seen rabbits, the main interest is perhaps the dragon- and damselflies. One year I did photograph some extraordinarily coloured bracket fungus - a year later, the colours were quite muted, and not worth a mention. (Dairy Farm is the name on my 2002 edition of OS sheet 152.)
Blue Lagoon, Bletchley area
This is an old clay pit, largely devoid of life, and used by the police, I believe, for diving training. I have seen masses of butterflies on the foliage close to the lagoon at the right time of year.
Great Linford Lakes
Probably my favourite spot. Access by annual permit from MKDC - see the resident Warden for details. Decent sized lake, lagoons and wooded areas. 3 hides. The Near Hide has excellent views of the bund which appears and disappears depending on the recent rainfall. The Far Hide overlooks the heronry where herons and Little Egrets breed. The 3rd. hide overlooks a small wood-surrounded pond, and needs food to be in the feeders for a visit to be worthwhile. Good spot for damselflies and dragonflies by the lagoons. Several owls and woodpeckers are common in addition to the wildfowl etc.
The reserve is accessed via private road through a fisheries owned land - do not dawdle or deviate from the track.
Walton Balancing Lake
Heavily reeded, and the hides attract rough sleepers, alcoholics, incendiary vandalism, and other man sized riff raff. I now keep away - my lenses etc. would buy too many hits!
"Teardrop" Lakes, Loughton
Haven't visited this area for many years -but nearby Furzton Lake gets some good mentions.
Howe Park Wood
Old woodland, with rides etc. Typical woodland - lots to hear, nothing to see. Inter area paths quite busy with non-birders. Close to noisy building operations the last time I was there.
River Ouse - Haversham
This area is now being turned in to a wetlands area, and gravel etc. is being extracted. The far west end, Manor Farm, is already getting some excellent sightings of waders. No hides, yet.
Campbell Park pond
-below the cricket pavilion, can be very good at certain times of year. Caught an excellent series of a heron catching a fish too large to swallow in one go! No rarities, but good for practising birds-in-flight photography.
Willen Lake North
This is an excellent public venue with free access all round, and public hide. I've seen a greater variety of birds here than at many of the higher rated sites. The south lake with its boats etc. also does well attracting rarities occasionally.
Stony Stratford Reserve
Public hide, and private hide(s?). The public hide looks south so not marvellous for photography.
Gayhurst Quarry ponds
North of Newport Pagnell, close to M1 - leave your car at end of lane, and not obstructing the residents. Walk to north in direction of Mill Fm for 0.5 mile, and hope that the birds are close to the fence. Good for viewing large numbers of swans and geese.
Ravenstone Sewage Treatment Works
I've seen lots of mentions, but can't see them on my map.
There's land clearance and building preparation work going on close to "The Hub" (New Sainsbury's area) in Central Milton Keynes, and I've seen several mentions of bird sightings in this area.
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Milton Keynes, UK
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