First No Kids Walk

Swallow - Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes
Swallow – Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes
All the kids are now back at school now, having finished their long summer holidays (not long enough in some ways, too long in others), and so today I managed my first walk of the new patch by myself with no kids, and while I missed having one or two of them with me it was a pleasure to not have to worry when I wanted to take my time taking photos etc. Although I look forward to the next walk I have with them again their enthusiasm and constant questioning of things makes the walk more enjoyable. Anyway today’s walk was interesting in a number of ways so I won’t delay.

Early Swallows and Martins

I arrived to the West of the canal (Old Locks side) ready to look for migrants but had to pause a moment as the Swallows and House Martins were settled nicely on the over head wires and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to photograph some of these enigmatic summer birds (I won’t have many more chances this year).
Swallow - Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes
Swallow – Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes

Swallow - Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes
Swallow – Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes

Swallow - Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes
Swallow – Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes

Swallow - Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes
Swallow – Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes

Swallow - Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes
Swallow – Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes

Swallow - Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes
Swallow – Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes

On to the Old Lock

My hope was that the long staying Spotted Flycatcher would still be about, alas they appear to have moved off (well there was no sign this morning) there were however still good numbers of other migrants including at least 6 Blackcap, 1 Whitethroat and a Chiffchaff. But it wasn’t all Migrtants here, there were still a few young Bullfinch about as well as plenty of Goldfinch and other commoner species.
Blackcap (female) - Old Wolverton, Milton Keynes
Blackcap (female) – Old Wolverton, Milton Keynes

Wren - Old Wolverton, Milton Keynes
Wren – Old Wolverton, Milton Keynes

Wader Scrape

While wandering to the wader scrape area I was pleased to record my first Skylark flying over as well as some Meadow Pipits and plenty more goldfinch, in fact it filled me with hope, however there was little on the scrape 1 Ruff, 1 Greenshank 3 Green Sandpiper, 1 Little Ringed Plover and the usual ducks and geese (no Pochard today or Garganey). 
However while standing on the bridge I had a few lovely sightings, firstly a Sedge Warbler remains in residence in the small reeds beside the bridge, then it was butterflies who took the fore with 2 Painted Ladies (my first of the year) and a Small Copper. This was then followed by a brief but very close (about 3 feet away) encounter with a Stoat, my first in Milton Keynes and first for many, many years, alas no photos he was just too quick.
Little Egret in Flight - Manor Farm, Milton Keynes
Little Egret in Flight – Manor Farm, Milton Keynes

Sedge Warbler - Manor Farm, Milton Keynes
Sedge Warbler – Manor Farm, Milton Keynes
There was little else of note so I headed off to the pond near the farm buildings to attempt photographing Swallows on the wing, I managed 1 they just didn’t seem to be down drinking, but there were 2 Yellow Wagtails there.
Swallow - Manor Farm, Milton Keynes
Swallow – Manor Farm, Milton Keynes
On the walk home I found a couple of interesting birds (to me) in the form of Goldcrest along the farm drive (and again in the Old Wolverton churchyard) and also at the church a singing Nuthatch! An excellent find here, as it is hardly a wooded area.
Red Admiral - Old Wolverton, Milton Keynes
Red Admiral – Old Wolverton, Milton Keynes

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