Long-tailed Tits and Flycatchers

Grey Heron in flight
Grey Heron in flight
Exciting migrants are dropping in all over the country, from exciting American flycatchers in Kent (Acadian Flycatcher) to Eastern Warblers on Shetland (Thick-billed warbler), rare thrushes on the Isles of Scilly (Grey Cheeked thrush) to wandering waders in Wales (Long-billed Dowitcher), so what better time to head out onto the patch and find my own mega, or even just a local rarity would be nice.

Sadly this is Milton Keynes, and as part of Buckinghamshire, the well known local rarity force field is up as usual, so my plans of discovering a first for Britain was well and truly out of luck.


Old Lock


I'm convinced the old lock area will produce something (locally) special one day, I have high hopes of wryneck or barred warbler but I guess time will tell on that one.

Instead I was treated today to more nice views of the two Spotted Flycatchers that seem to be in residence around the old lock area, they have moved close to the river now near the aqueduct, but do show very well at times, and I think I got my best photo of them so far today (you can be the judge though).

Spotted Flycatcher - Old Wolverton
Spotted Flycatcher - Old Wolverton

Spotted Flycatcher - Old Wolverton
Spotted Flycatcher - Old Wolverton

Spotted Flycatcher - Old Wolverton
Spotted Flycatcher - Old Wolverton


Farm and Pits

Still on the lookout for passing migrants a small finch flock below the Manor Farm buildings had me hooked for a few mins as in amongst the Goldfinch was a smaller brown finch, that I just could not get a good look at as the birds dropped into the long grass of the paddocks, eventually the bird hopped up onto the barbed wire fence with its friends and was only a lone Linnet travelling with his cousins.

While he rested on the fence he was joined by a Meadow Pipit, flushed up from under the hooves of some of local bullocks as they spread out from the feeding area, then a second and eventually 9 more birds (11 in total, not a bad local pipit flock).

Meadow Pipit - Manor Farm
Meadow Pipit - Manor Farm


Sadly the best wader spots are still water free and full of plant life, so the chances of a repeat of last years pectoral sandpiper are pretty slim, and in fact there is little bar Lapwing as local wading birds, a fact highlighted as all the birds were flushed either into the air, or in the case of the local Cormorants into the water. I couldn't find what had scared the birds to flight, no raptors seemed to be in the sky, so I can only assume some other predator was abound near by.

River to Stony

I decided to make a long walk of today so rather than packing up after the pits and heading home I carried on up river towards the mill buildings and while the bushes were not teeming with wildlife, it was lovely to have some really nice views of two Kingfisher as they fought over the best fishing spots and a single calling Little Owl is always a pleasure.

I was lucky enough to find a small tit flock along the path behind the local hostelry and in among the Great Tit and Long-tailed Tit were two tiny Goldcrest, always a pleasure to see. A little bit of waiting and I managed to capture a lovely photo of one of the LTT as it poked its head out from the bushes (see below), sadly not the crests though.

Long-tailed tit in all its cuteness
Long-tailed tit in all its cuteness

Long-tailed Tit - Wolverton Mill
Long-tailed Tit - Wolverton Mill

Long-tailed Tit - Wolverton Mill
Long-tailed Tit - Wolverton Mill

5 and a half miles later my back was starting to give me grief and I headed home, not overwhelmed but happy to have spent time out in the field again.



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1 comments:

  1. Beautiful bird shots! I always have such a hard time getting good shots of smaller birds.

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