Grand day out

Braving the snow at seven this morning meself and  Steve headed south for the Wiltshire Orni. field trip at Blashford Lakes. Apart from some black ice near Durrington we had an uneventful drive down. Two Stonechats were a nice drive by sighting inbetween Amesbury and Salisbury. First stop was Harbridge Meadows where we quickly found the Swans, soon picking out the one Whooper and five Bewicks. We were first to arrive at Blashford and went into the Teal Hide to check out Ibsley Water. A wide selection of ducks included several Pintail and Goldeneye. Once the others had arrived we wandered around the three hides here, steadily adding to the day list. No Yellow Legged Gulls were found but two Greater Black Backed were nice to see. Lunch was taken by feeders at the visitors centre adding Siskin, Nuthatch and Greater Spotted Woodpecker. Some of the group saw a Kingfisher on the river. Next stop was the Ivy South Hide where one of the three Bitterns was seen. The highlight here was a Cetti’s Warbler that came into the open giving great views. On the way to the Woodland Hide a Water Rail was seen by all of the group. At the Woodland Hide the activity at the feeders was non-stop with Siskins and Redpoll the best visitors with a supporting cast of Nuthatch, Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Tits and Finches. This concluded our visit to this fabulous reserve. We ended up with just over fifty species for the day.

Heading back towards home, we stopped at Figheldean on the River Avon to look for a Great White Egret that has been in the area for a while. Despite four of us searching we drew a blank. Next stop was Salisbury Plain where we watched three Short Eared Owls quartering the rough grassland. All in all a fine day’s birding with a final day total of sixty-two.

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