Personal musings, wanderings and sightings from around the lake.
A little history, and about the lake, at the bottom of the page.


Sometimes the picture doesn't have to be perfect; it's the captured moment that counts. - me

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Willen Lake

After topping up the seed, I decided to head over to Willen Lake, for a quick look.

The biggest of the balancing lakes in Milton Keynes, and also split in two by an overhead road, and down at lake level, a footbridge.

The south lake is home to a fitness centre, bar, playground, water sport centre, mini golf, and gawd knows what else. Currently a fun fair is parked there too, until the end of this month. Yea, it's busy; but the birds still turn up.

The north lake is much quieter, with a Buddhist Temple, Peace Pagoda, and a bird hide that looks across to an island, that can have some interesting waders at times.
There were reports yesterday of Green Sandpipers, and Common Sandpipers, amongst the rest. Worth a look, I thought.

After climbing the million steps up towards the lake from the car park, catching my breath at the top, it's then a slope down towards the lake.

The pathway through the grass alongside the edge of the lake was very overgrown; a couple of times I almost finished up on the ground, after being tripped up by brambles. I guess most people stick to the proper path, further over.

Coots, Black-headed Gulls, and Common Terns were most in evidence as I made my way along towards the bird hide.

Finally I was there, and sat down. The water level had gone down quite a bit beyond the hide; perfect for wader watching. Just one problem though, the reeds in front of the hide were just blocking anything from view. So disappointing.

Scanning over the tops of the reeds and bushes towards the island and spit of land in the distance, it was possible to see Lapwing and Herons, and a couple of Little Egrets in the trees; possible, but difficult.

Such a shame, as this can be an excellent place when the view is unobstructed.
Seems strange to me to have a hide, but then have the view blocked by the undergrowth.

The land management around Milton Keynes does seem a bit cockeyed at times.

Here's a water bird from Caldecotte, where it's easier to see them.


Full list of today's sightings

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)

Total species  16


  1. A bit of a disappointing morning this morning Keith, both bird wise and view wise!
    Perhaps the Caldecotte 'vandals' should be re-assigned to Willen!

  2. Good to have a change of scene.

  3. Overall it looks like a nice spot Keith, thanks for the walk.

  4. It does seem a shame to have such a popular hide there, but let it get so overgrown Trevor.

    Normally I'd agree Adrian, but sadly, not today.

    Roy, it is a good lake to visit usually; I caught it on an off day today though.

  5. A new zone, I hope you haven't forgot Caldecotte?

  6. No Bob, Caldecotte will always be my place of choice. So much to see here, and I've got to know a lot of other people that visit too. :-)

  7. Hi Keith..Well you say you got your exercise : }
    Nice to have a change,but going with the tryed and true is best sometimes!!

  8. You have some wonderful places near to your home Keith...
    Local patches become favourite patches... I don't believe "familiarity breeds contempt" when watching nature.

  9. Shame about the view being blocked, I've been to a few hides in mk recently an the reeds have just been too high to see anything.

  10. Grace, those steps fair wore me out. Too much of that exercise will be the death of me lol

    Thanks Andrew. We do have quite a few lakes round here; each is unique in what it has to offer.

    BC, I think the people responsible for these areas seem more interested in manicuring the shrubs along the pathways, for the casual visitors, so it looks 'pretty'.
    I get more cynical as I get older.