A Whole lot of Chiffchaffs

Chiffchaff - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Chiffchaff - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
I should have posted this yesterday as it was yesterdays walk and photos but coming off a night shift, then having a walk, combined with strong pain meds (for my back again) and I kind of flaked in the afternoon and evening so thought I would catch up today as I couldn't get out today (same back issues and rain getting in the way today). Anyway, excuses over on to the days walk.

With the sun streaming down you'd think it would be warm but there was a bitterness in the air as a cycled home from work, however I couldn't waste the sunshine and so even though I could have slept for a week I decided I would head out around the patch in the hope of either a few migrants or some insect action in the sun.

Migrants


The only migrant I came across was Chiffchaff but not just a few, no Monday 24th March my patch was inundated with them, I was hitting the 15-20 figure just around the lake and it continued as I wandered slowly down towards the Abbey and back up on the Bradwell Common side of the railway line. You could hear them singing everywhere but when you heard one if you stopped you would see 3 or 4 I have never seen so many in one day, I stopped counting when I was near 30 but they did just keep coming.

Chiffchaff in full song - Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes
Chiffchaff in full song - Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes

Butterflies


As for butterflies again, like migrants they were pretty thin on the ground a heavy frost this morning must have taken its toll as I managed to see 5 butterfly in total 2 Peacock and 3 Small Tortoiseshell, nice but in no way what I was hoping for (a few weeks ago I had 4 species represented by doubles figures, I imagined I would be seeing more but alas no). Spring can be a confusing season and March is so up and down that you just never know.

Peacock - Bradwell village, Milton Keynes
Peacock - Bradwell village, Milton Keynes

Small Tortoiseshell - Bradwell Village, Milton Keynes
Small Tortoiseshell - Bradwell Village, Milton Keynes
I must admit to being a little disappointed with what was on offer today, I managed a few other decent(ish) photos of Little Egret, European Robin and Tree creeper but again nothing seemed to be presenting itself well today.

European Robin - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
European Robin - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes

European Robin - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
European Robin - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes

Tree Creeper - Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes
Tree Creeper - Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes

Little Egret - Bradwell Village, Milton Keynes
Little Egret - Bradwell Village, Milton Keynes

Little Egret - Bradwell Village, Milton Keynes
Little Egret - Bradwell Village, Milton Keynes

Insects


There were also a few insects about (again nowhere near the numbers I was hoping for but a few Red-Tailed Bees and hover-flies (Eristalis Pertinax and Eristalis Tenax, I think) and a small group of 7 spot ladybird. I also stumbled on a huge lump of frog spawn, alas no frogs or toads in to be seen.

7 Spot Ladybird - Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes
7 Spot Ladybird - Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes

Eristalis Pertinax - Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes
Eristalis Pertinax - Bradwell Village, Milton Keynes

Eristalis Tenax - Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes
Eristalis Tenax - Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes

Frog Spawn - Bradwell Village, Milton Keynes
Frog Spawn - Bradwell Village, Milton Keynes
The only saving grace is that it is always a pleasure to be out in the sunshine amongst spring flowers.


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