An Unexpected Redstart

Horsefly - Manor Farm, Milton Keynes
Horsefly – Manor Farm, Milton Keynes
After a weekend of fun, frolics and damn hard work at the bird fair (posts all about it to follow once I have sorted emails, and the photos from the event fully) I decided to pop to Manor Farm this afternoon (between about 14:00 and 15:30) to catch up with the Black-Tailed Godwit that was seen while I was away and see what else was still about.

Arriving at the Farm

I skipped my usual walk to the farm site (I say usual I’ve done it twice!) as Zoe is suffering with a chest infection (I obviously pushed her hard at the Bird Fair) and I didn’t want to leave Bo and my mum with her alone for too long, and so I walked through Old Wolverton and down the canal (a quicker if not very interesting walk). Once off the canal I was strolling along the path when I spotted a small bird flit along the randomly dotted bushes of the fence line, I was never quite able to see for sure what it was but my instinct told me Common Redstart (a fact I proved later, more on that further down).
Arriving by “The Bridge”, the same area the Pec Sand was in, and the best viewing spot for the muddy areas, I quickly spotted the lone Black-Tailed Godwit feeding just off the shore (and a little too far for my lens to get decent shots, so forgive the quality), scanning the remaining muddy areas I spotted the now almost resident Ruff (my first view though), a single Green Sandpiper and a single Common Sandpiper, as well as the more common Lapwing, Common Tern, and assorted water fowl.
Black-Tailed Godwit (Heavy Crop) - Manor Farm, Milton Keynes
Black-Tailed Godwit (Heavy Crop) – Manor Farm, Milton Keynes

Return Walk

Walking back home the way I had come (hoping for another glimpse of the earlier chat) I was enjoying the spectacle of Sand Martins, House Martins and Swallows when a couple of Goldfinch (maybe ones I photographed earlier?) few along the fence and right over the unmistakable form of the Redstart! While the views were superb as it perched and did some fly-catching and tail flicking, the sun was in an awkward position and I struggled to get stunning photos (although I do quite like the silhouettes I did get, gives a real idea into JIZZ).
Redstart - Manor Farm, Milton Keynes
Redstart – Manor Farm, Milton Keynes

Redstart in silhouette - Manor Farm, Milton Keynes
Redstart in silhouette – Manor Farm, Milton Keynes
I spent more time than I should trying to improve my shots (sorry Zoe) but headed home happy and hopeful I will get another shot tomorrow.

Good News

After all that excitement (as if that wasn’t enough) I got home to an email informing me one of my photos has been shortlisted for a competition being run in conjunction with Tring Museum (a shot in the park) so I could soon be adding “Award Winning” to my blog!!
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2 Replies to “An Unexpected Redstart

  1. Whilst visiting a castle recently we saw a redstart and it's fledgling on the castle walls.With no binoculars I would never have identified it normally but luckily Simon's new camera has a very good zoom on it!

    1. Stunning little birds, always seem very delicate to me, and surprisingly once you see them a few times they really become obvious with just a short glance (I always think that robin was way to slim when i spot one)

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