The Sound of the Downs

This morning I headed off for a walk on Lammy Downs which is just south of the Ridgeway near Bishopstone. Getting out of the car I was greeted by the sound of singing Skylarks. Despite being heard throughout the walk but I didn’t manage to see one. A Robin was perched on the fence and Linnets< Chaffinches and Goldfinch were seen. Heading up the track onto the Downs a Kestrel flew across and a Buzzard was circling overhead. Corn Bunting was heard and then seen and then the hoped for Stonechat was found. It was a smart male moving along the fenceline ahead of me. It would perch on a post then fly down onto the grass before returning to the fence. Eventually it flew back round behind me where I managed a quick picture. After a mile or so I turned back down towards the Ridgeway and was trying for another picture of the Stonechat and a couple of Corn Buntings when a group of walkers from the Highworth and Swindon Walking Group appeared and sent all the birds off across the field. Also seen along here were several Yellowhammers. I crossed back over the Ridgeway and walked down the Combe towards Bishopstone. Here I found a female Stonechat, another Kestrel,  two flocks of a hundred or more Linnets and fifty or so Chaffinches. Then it was back to the car and on the way home a check of the pig farm which added Pied Wagtail and Starling to the list. Then a quick drive into Oxfordshire to see if the Idstone Little Owl was out, it wasn’t. The village pond in Bishopstone held a single Moorhen and a Red-legged Partridge was on the verge at the base of Liddington Hill.


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