Thursday 9th December, Milton Keynes River Ouzel walk,
7 miles, 12 ramblers, led by Tony R.
The sun came out this morning! It has not been seen for a week, and the stormy winds dropped. Tony could not have chosen a better day to put this last minute walk on the calendar. We all managed to find the obscure car park near Willen Lake, and after crossing a foot-bridge, followed the rive Ouzel along pleasant surfaced paths through landscaped grass and pollard willow trees.
We stopped to admire a Heron, then paused for an early coffee break by Walton Lake, which was well choked with bulrushes. Soon after we crossed West to the Grand Union Canal and walked along the towpath, spotting mallards and moorhens.
|Alison, Tony P, Jed, Neal, Cathy, Kate, Jennie, Ruth & Penny with Beryl & Sue at the back
We passed by Woughton Marina, with lots of new flats being built, then paused at Willen Lake to use their new immaculate toilet facilities.
|Kate, Cathy, Beryl, Penny, Jed, Tony R, Jenny, Sue, Neal & Tony P
Next stop was a bird hide, earmarked as a shelter to eat our snack in the rain, but totally unnecessary as the sun was still shining, albeit very low on the horizon at mid-day. We observed an Egret, Herring gulls, and wheeling flocks of Lapwings. Unfortunately we disturbed a twitcher who quietly moved his telescope elsewhere. The last mile followed Willen Lake, and was into a cool breeze which reminded us that winter is not yet over.
|Track of walk, walked in clockwise direction.