Spring Patch Walk

Spring Patch Walk - Chiffchaff in treeSpring Patch Walk

Crystal clear, endless, blue skies stretched out across Milton Keynes today, and I hadn’t been for a patch walk in ages, so what better way to spend my morning that spending time under those blue skies and wandering the Floodplain Forest paths exploring the patch and searching for spring migrants.

Spring Patch Walk

It seems like every patch of trees has one or two Chiffchaff singing from high in their canopies now, the eponymous summer visitor has returned in great numbers already and the air is filled with their classic name calling song. As I walked the small olive birds could be seen all over, a sure sign of the changing year.

Chiffchaff Singing for the top of a tree.
Chiffchaff Singing for the top of a tree.

The occasional burst of scratchy, warble, could be heard from deep within the bushes, as skulking Blackcaps made their presence known. Not back in huge numbers yet but one or two could be heard dotted around the reserve.

Wader Returns

While I walked, enjoying the sun warming my back, away over the river, hidden from sight behind tall trees and thick undergrowth, I could hear the distinct sound of Redshanks calling to each other. Returning birds pairing up ready for the coming breeding season. The same birds, or another pair, were quickly found on the floods themselves. At first on the islands in front of the Farm hide, before moving off to the stilt pits where they remained till I left site.

Sadly the Little Ringed Plover from my previous visit was no longer around, or at least not showing at all, but a Green Sandpiper did join the Redshank on the Stilt pits, although very distantly.

Redshank pair
Redshank pair

 

Redshank Flapping
Lone Redshank Flapping

 

Redshank reflections
Redshank reflections

 

Wading Redshank
Wading Redshank

 

Getting Deeper
Getting Deeper

 

Summer plumage Common Redshank
Summer plumage Common Redshank

Off Patch

Sadly there was not much else of note on the rest of the patch. So I decided to carry on down river, and head passed the new workings to see what I could discover there.

Unfortunately although the day was beautiful, the birding was lacking much in the way of species diversity. There were not many birds up river at all, a few Skylark singing high on the wing, a few Tufted duck swimming the flooded digging, and a couple of Mallard surfing the fast moving River Ouse.

Little Egret in Flight
Little Egret in Flight

 

Wood Pigeon in Flight
Wood Pigeon in Flight
Blue Tit
Blue Tit

Insects

We are still some way off the period of the year where Dragonflies dart from stem to stalk; butterflies flutter from brightly coloured flower to flower; or Bees buzz between nectar pots. But they are slowly starting to emerge. There seemed to be plenty of bees moving around and the number of Small Tortoiseshell and Orange tip butterflies is steadily growing.

I slowly made my way back along the river, passing by the nature reserve once more, the sounds of people now overtaking the sounds of wildlife as families began to make the most of the Easter holidays and nice weather. A sign for me to head home once more.

Reed Bunting
Reed Bunting

 

Grey Wagtail flying in
Grey Wagtail flying in

 

Through the Arches
Through the Arches

 

Wood Pigeon
Wood Pigeon

I’m Walking 2500 miles in 2017 to raise money for Birding For All – Read about it here – Please consider donating through My Donate

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4 Replies to “Spring Patch Walk

  1. Great to meet another who's walking so much. Wow 2500 is amazing, I'll gladly pop you a donation. I'm doing the 1000 miles.

    I admire your bird photography mine is not at the stage of capturing such lovely birds. My bird feeder is swarming full of Chaffinches, Swallows, Robins, Wrens and the ground gets Black birds and Pheasants. Currently the buzzards fly over the house and among the hills, up until this month they were flying in packs of 3-5 and apparently that's because the young had refused to leave their parents. It seems now mating season is upon us, they've found their partners….

    Such a beautiful time of year hey ? ��

  2. It's so lovely to we the changes of the season in the local patch. I love hearing the song of the returning chiff chaffs and seeing butterflies on the wing again. Thanks for sharing what's happening on your patch.

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