An Unexpected Surprise

Fieldfare in Silhouette (the only decent photo of a thrush)
Fieldfare in Silhouette (the only decent photo of a thrush)

It was sunny today (Monday, yeah I know this is posted a little late) and so despite being completely shattered from my weekend night shifts I decided, after dropping the little one at school, I couldn't waste the mornings  weather and would head out onto the patch (there is likely to be a lot of rain soon so I didn't want to miss a dry morning), and as always what I plan on doing (or more accurately photographing) seems to go completely off kilter and I end up seeing and photographing something different to my intended quarry. Today I went out expecting to see plenty of winter thrushes (I did) and my aim was to capture a few photos, as you'll see I didn't manage to really do that, in fact the title photo is the only one I managed.


Early Crests


I must admit to being a little shocked as barely onto my patch the bushes seemed to be alive with movement, and mainly in the form of Goldcrest, although there were the odd Blue Tit and Great Tit thrown in. And with the help of my flash I even managed a photo or two (actually loads but most were pretty poor, I must invest in a flash extender for use with my long lens).

Goldcrest - Old Wolverton, Milton Keynes
Goldcrest - Old Wolverton, Milton Keynes

The Old Locks


After seeing more crests through the church yard, I set out down towards the Old Locks area, when a Common Kestrel perched in a nearby bush was suddenly mobbed by Carrion Crows and gave me a wonderful close fly past (I even managed a decent photo!), shortly after the flocks of thrushes started to come through, first a flock of 12 Mistle Thrush and then two decent sized Fieldfare flocks (probably 50 in each) flew over heading West, these flocks of Fieldfare continued throughout the morning, unfortunately I'm not sure where they ended up.

Common Kestrel flyby - Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes
Common Kestrel flyby (cropped) - Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes

Along the River


Deciding to follow the thrush flocks west I headed up river towards Stony Stratford, pausing briefly to photograph a couple of Mute Swan that had made it up the river some way. It was well photographing the swans that I was checking the distant white birds flying over the fields over the river, I always check them out in the hope one will not be the usual gulls but will be a barn owl quartering the fields however on this occasion it was just gulls, mainly Black-Headed Gull but with the odd Common Gull thrown in and then a striking 1st Winter Mediterranean Gull a patch tick for me and not a bird I see during the day locally at all (usually only see them at gull roosts).

Mute Swan - River Ouse, Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes
Mute Swan - River Ouse, Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes

Crossing the River


In the vein hope that the med gull would pas back I headed over the river by the Old Mill buildings and started out across the fields, this was where my only encounter with a stationary Feildfare occurred (see the title photo) silhouetted in a small bush, but I was pleased with the number of Skylarks passing over. A quick foray into the fields gave me some nice photo ops with the Black-Headed Gull.

Black-headed gull in flight - Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes
Black-headed gull in flight - Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes

Black-headed gull in flight - Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes
Black-headed gull in flight - Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes
Returning from the fields I stumbled across a little set aside in the field and a flock of 7 Skylark seemed to have set up home along with three rather confiding Reed Buntings, one of whom allowed me some lovely photos.

Reed Bunting (taken with flash) - Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes
Reed Bunting (taken with flash) - Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes

Reed Bunting (taken with flash) - Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes
Reed Bunting (taken with flash) - Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes

Also of Note


I was a little surprised to see so many small creatures still active there were a number of bees and wasps knocking about and this rather pretty long antennae beetle (the thick rear legs were odd as well) if anyone has a name for it please leave me a comment.

Unknown Beetle - Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes
Unknown Beetle - Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes


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