Environment Magazine

Spring Patch Walk

Posted on the 06 April 2017 by Ashley Crombet-Beolens @Fromanurbanlake
Spring 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

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 once more 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


Views over the floodplain forest nature reserve

Views over the floodplain forest nature reserve


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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