Today’s Wanderings and Weekend Birds 28th April

Mallard Duckling - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Mallard Duckling – Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes

It wouldn’t have mattered what the weather was like yesterday I was going to go out no matter, it seems so long since I have had a real patch walk, and with migration fully underway now it was much needed My good friend Simon has seen House Martin and Lesser Whitethroat over me now this spring. But before I get onto today’s walk I thought I should update a few recent sightings from this weekend (my morning walks).

Weekend wildlife

With reports of a few migrants from my good friend Simon I was looking forward to may walks home from work (yes the joys of nights again) and I had a couple of pleasant strolls. 
Saturday morning (I didn’t stop long as I had purchased breakfast for the family and wanted to get it home while still warm) but I did hear brief snatches of Reed Warbler
Sunday morning I had wonderful views of a lovely Red Fox not far from my work in Linford wood (so off patch) he didn’t even notice me as I walked along the path, and I was within 10 meters when it did see me and dashed off into the wood (only to stop on a bridle path and give me another wonderful sight) if only I had had my camera with me. It must have been a morning for mammals as I had a wonderful Muntjac Deer as I crossed the A5 (so on the patch) as it wandered out spotted me and shot back into the bushes. Bird wise it was warbler central as I saw a good number of Blackcap, at least 2 Reed Warblers, Singing Willow Warbler and plenty of Chiffchaff (still no lesser whitethroats though).

Back to Yesterday

Mallard in scratching action - Bradwell Abbey, Milton Keynes
Mallard in scratching action – Bradwell Abbey, Milton Keynes

And so after my walk home (I had no optics but always nice to hear the bird song) I headed out for a good walk. I made the decision early that I would walk the whole patch even though it was overcast and quite dull and that is exactly what I did.

I knew it was going to be a day of migrants (although not one for photography really) and I was not wrong I saw and heard well over 20 individual Blackcap, as well as a couple of Willow Warbler, lots of Chiffchaff at least 3 Reed Warbler a single Garden Warbler (in amongst the reeds which through me at first) and my first Lesser Whitethroat for the patch, other migrants included a few Common Tern passing through and the odd Swallow dotted around (if I’m honest most of this was around the lake).

But it was after seeing my first instance of more than one Little Egret at the same time on the patch that lead me to my best sighting of the day, I followed the two birds as they crossed Dansteed into Wymbush (where they went separate ways) and then while following a Blackcap (in the vain hope of photographing him) I heard a strange call over head and rushing round a bush was greeted by the sight of not one but two Oystercatchers flying over calling (a patch first!!).

Buoyed on by this great sighting I continued my walk on to Bradwell Abbey fully expecting it to be dripping with migrants, warblers swarming the bushes and chats or wheatear filling the paddocks, unfortunately as with many trips to the abbey I was left disappointed it was pretty much bereft of birds.

Further on

Mistle Thrush - Bradwell Common, Milton Keynes
Mistle Thrush – Bradwell Common, Milton Keynes

I thought I had best carry on still and headed through Bradwell and on to the flood plains (where I hoped the Oystercatchers had headed) alas this was also empty of birds (bar Jackdaw, Crow, Mallard and some odd feral pigeon), the only migrant through was a lone Common Tern presumably following the canal.

I then began the long walk back home stopping briefly at the small pond in Bradwell Common to photograph an obliging Mistle Thrush and briefly at the lake to try and see some more warblers (the light was pretty poor all day for photos unfortunately). And so I ended the day pleased with my migrant haul and happy to have two new birds for me (including the patch mega!).

Wood Pigeon – Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes

Canada Goose - Bradwell Abbey, Milton Keynes
Canada Goose – Bradwell Abbey, Milton Keynes
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