Chasing Spotted Flycatchers

Chasing Spotted Flycatchers (pictured Blue Tit)
Chasing Spotted Flycatchers

Today, after dropping the small one off at school, and sitting through an introduction to year 1. Very interesting and helpful, if only that baby hadn’t screamed all the way through. And then collecting a sick note for the big lady (Zoe) and dropping her home to rest (damn chest infection). I headed out for a short morning walk on the patch.

My intentions were only really to look at the Old Lock area (Chasing Spotted Flycatchers and other migrants) and then head home (I’m not that well, cough and cold, myself and have two night shifts over the next two nights).

And for once I pretty much managed to stick to my plans, but did I find the Spotted Flycatcher I was after? Read on to find out.

Chasing Spotted Flycatchers

Unlike my last walk out (So Many Chiffchaffs) this walk held very few of this stunning little warbler, in fact I think I counted 4 Chiffchaff (there may of course have been more) and only 3 Blackcap, it seems like the migrants are moving off now as I only had passing Swallows as well. There were no other warblers of any type, and little else passing through.

Chiffchaff - Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes
Chiffchaff – Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes

 

Chiffchaff (action shot) - Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes
Chiffchaff (action shot) – Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes

Goldfinch numbers are still doing well (and look to me to be increasing slowly) and I saw quite a few Greenfinch and more Chaffinch than normal, although I had hoped for passing migrant finches none seemed to be on the move, however there did seem to be a small passage of Skylark going over as I counted at least three small parties of 2 or more birds each time.

Goldfinch (looking very mean) - Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes
Goldfinch (looking very mean) – Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes

Resident Buzzard

It would appear that there is a resident Common Buzzard in the Old Lock area as I again saw and photographed a low flying chap (this time he seemed to have come off the bushes beside the canal as I walked along), as a fan of raptors (are there any birdwatchers who don’t love these amazing creatures?) I’m very happy about this and I hope I see it every time I walk the area.

Common Buzzard - Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes
Common Buzzard – Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes

 

Common Buzzard - Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes
Common Buzzard – Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes

A Change of Plan

I walked to the end of the Lock path and was going to head off along the river, when something made me decide to walk the fields instead and as I did this (walking the opposite side of the bushes from the old lock) I spotted the unmistakable shape of a Spotted Flycatcher high in the bushes I had just walked under. and so I decided I’d turn around and head back up the Old Lock path and see if I could get better views.

Spotted Flycatcher

I quickly re-found the bird sat atop some rather high bushes, and snapped a few quick photos be fore deciding I’d spend some time watching it rather than carry on my walk, however this turned out to be rather tricky as no sooner had I made this decision when a Robin saw it off and it looked to fly off over the canal. wandering back towards the Old Lock itself I suddenly spotted it had returned only the other side of the foot path (if I had been in the field I would have had amazing views.shots of it).

Spotted Flycatcher - Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes
Spotted Flycatcher – Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes

 

Spotted Flycatcher - Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes
Spotted Flycatcher – Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes

The bird flew further up the hedge, and then crossed the path and disappeared into the bushes, below the canal. Before again flying over my head back across the path. Then once more flying into the thicker bushes. For a spotted flycatcher it was really giving me the run around. Leaving the Old Lock area I again spotted the flycatcher. This time on the other side of the fence, beside the fields, allowing me more superb views and a photo or two.

Spotted Flycatcher - Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes
Spotted Flycatcher – Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes

I headed home from here. Checking for migrants, but seeing little else, bar a few Mistle Thrush, and flying Grey Heron and Little Egret.

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