Return on the Swift

Return of the Swift
Return of the Swift
The sun definitely had her hat on this morning, beaming her beautiful rays down on me as I left the house, only she also had her scarf, gloves and a bloody great coat on, the wind that was with her, whipping away across the patch was filled with ice, ice that has come straight out of the Arctic circle.

At least that is how it felt.

Return of the Swift

I decided to head through the sheltered old lock area rather than head straight to the pits, my goal was small migrants, but my aim was to keep a little warmth in my, at least to give the day a few more minutes to warm up. I wasn't disappointed either, the area seemed alive with warblers. multiple Blackcap and Whitethroat were warbling away deep in the bushes, a few Garden Warbler were whistling their melodic version of the Blackcaps song and Chiffchaff were vocal along the whole path. 

Even a Lesser Whitethroat put in a brief appearance topping one of the many bushes.

Grey Heron in flight
Grey Heron in flight

Grey Heron in flight
Grey Heron in flight

Manor Farm Pits

I decided to brave the freeze and head to the pits, one of these day's I'll arrive as a flock of glossy ibis drop in but alas all the pits held were a small party of 4 Dunlin, Redshank numbers were up (6), LRP's were still on force a couple of Common Sandpiper and a lone Green Sandpiper were all feeding along the edge.

2 Oystercatcher soon turned into 3 and then that was it. Nothing else of any interest. I continued to suffer the cold for a further half an hour before deciding enough was enough and headed off around the patch once again.

Mallard and Duckling
Mallard and Duckling


Return of the Swift

As I approached the tailings area a quick glance skywards produced my 100th bird species of the year on the patch as the first returning Common Swift made the sky his own, joined by a second as the pair battled the stiff cold breeze and performed aerial displays to put the red arrows to shame.

Further Hirundines became evident as my wander continued, mainly House Martins intermixed with Barn Swallow but also quite a few Sand Martin chattering their way across the patch.

Common Linnet
Common Linnet


Northern Approaches

The northern stretches of the farm pits produced a couple more swifts, but again it was back to the warblers as the numbers of Sedge Warblers along the river Ouse grew steadily, joined by their similar sounding cousins Reed Warblers, Willow Warblers soon joined in the chorus.

A lone Treecreeper decided to pay me a visit and kindly show me where he was nesting (something I have never seen before), as he carried various bugs scavenged from the crevices of the nearby trees and taking them back to his, presumably, brooding mate.

Reed Warbler
Reed Warbler


Wolverton Mill Stretch

I decided to extend my wander today and headed along the river up to the old (converted) mill buildings, again, hoping for migrants, but little new was evident, I was however privileged to locate a pair of Common Buzzard who were clearly setting up a territory together.

By now the cold was seeping into my bones so I headed off home, weary but happy to have reached the 100 milestone for the year. Here's to the next bird.


Date: 28/04/2015
Time: 5 hours 17 mins
Distance: 5.28 Miles

Full Species List

Species Count Comments
Greylag Goose 1
Canada Goose 2
Mute Swan 5
Gadwall X
Mallard X Including first ducklings of the year
Eurasian Teal X
Tufted Duck X
Common Pheasant X
Great Cormorant 2
Grey Heron 5
Little Egret 2
Common Buzzard 1
Common Moorhen X
Eurasian Coot X
Eurasian Oystercatcher 3
Northern Lapwing X
Little Ringed Plover 6
Common Sandpiper 2
Green Sandpiper 1
Common Redshank 6
Dunlin 4
Lesser Black-backed Gull 3
Common Tern 6
Stock Dove 1
Common Wood-Pigeon X
Eurasian Collared-Dove X
Common Swift 4
Common Kingfisher 1
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1
Eurasian Green Woodpecker 3
Common Magpie X
Eurasian Jackdaw X
Rook X
Carrion Crow X
Sand Martin 5
Barn Swallow X
Common House-Martin X
Great Tit X
Blue Tit X
Long-tailed Tit 1
Eurasian Treecreeper 1
Eurasian Wren X
Willow Warbler 3
Common Chiffchaff 7
Sedge Warbler 6
Eurasian Reed-Warbler 2
Blackcap 13
Garden Warbler 2
Lesser Whitethroat 1
Whitethroat 9
Robin X
Blackbird X
Song Thrush 1
Mistle Thrush 1
Starling X
Dunnock X
Western Yellow Wagtail 2
White Wagtail (alba) 1
Pied Wagtail 3
Meadow Pipit 4
Reed Bunting X
Chaffinch X
Bullfinch 1
Greenfinch 4
Goldfinch X
Linnet 2
House Sparrow X

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  1. Wow, that's a good amount of birds spotted! I can identify the typical garden birds and some native birds of prey but that's about it.

    My parents live in Scottish countryside, proper. I can't wait to take the tot there when he's a bit older and teach him the names of all the wildlife regularly passing through the garden!

  2. What beautiful photos! I particularly like the Mallard and duckling. Lizzie @ Marmalade Pie x

  3. You captured some stunning photos! It's a great time of year to see all the birds. :)


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