Crystal clear, endless, blue skies stretched out across Milton Keynes today, and I hadn't been for a patch walk in ages, so what better way to spend my morning that spending time under those blue skies and wandering the Floodplain Forest paths exploring the patch and searching for spring migrants.
Spring Patch Walk
It seems like every patch of trees has one or two Chiffchaff singing from high in their canopies now, the eponymous summer visitor has returned in great numbers already and the air is filled with their classic name calling song. As I walked the small olive birds could be seen all over, a sure sign of the changing year.
|Chiffchaff Singing for the top of a tree.|
The occasional burst of scratchy, warble, could be heard from deep within the bushes, as skulking Blackcaps made their presence known, not back in huge numbers yet but one or two could be heard dotted around the reserve.
While I walked, enjoying the sun warming my back, away over the river, hidden from sight behind tall trees and thick undergrowth I could hear the distinct sound of Redshanks calling to each other, returning birds pairing up ready for the coming breeding season. The same birds or another pair were quickly found on the floods themselves, at first on the islands in front of the Farm hide before moving off to the stilt pits where they remained till I left site.
Sadly the Little Ringed Plover from my previous visit was no longer around, or at least not showing at all, but a Green Sandpiper did join the Redshank on the Stilt pits, although very distantly.
|Summer plumage Common Redshank|
Sadly there was not much else of note on the rest of the patch so I decided to carry on down river, and head passed the new workings to see what I could discover there.
Unfortunately although the day was beautiful, the birding was lacking much in the way of species diversity, there were not many birds up river at all, a few Skylark singing high on the wing, a few Tufted duck swimming the flooded digging, and a couple of Mallard surfing the fast moving River Ouse.
|Little Egret in Flight|
|Wood Pigeon in Flight|
We are still some way off the period of the year where Dragonflies dart from stem to stalk, butterflies flutter from brightly coloured flower to flower or Bees buzz between nectar pots, but they are slowly starting to emerge, there seemed to be plenty of bees moving around and the number of Small Tortoiseshell and Orange tip butterflies is steadily growing.
I slowly made my way back along the river, passing by the nature reserve once more, the sounds of people now overtaking the sounds of wildlife once more as families began to make the most of the Easter holidays and nice weather, a sign for me to head home once more.
|Grey Wagtail flying in|
|Views over the floodplain forest nature reserve|
|Through the Arches|
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