A Whole lot of Chiffchaffs

Chiffchaff - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes = A Whole lot of Chiffchaffs
A Whole lot of Chiffchaffs

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.

A Whole lot of Chiffchaffs

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. There was A Whole lot of Chiffchaffs. 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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