Worth Sticking to the Plan

As the day progressed and the rain got harder my plan for an evening on Salisbury Plain was looking pretty crazy. However as I had to drop my daughter in Marlborough for five and pick her up again at half-eight and that my wife would be out until nine I decided to go anyway. Also the weather forecast was suggesting the rain may clear by six. It turned out to be a good decision. I dropped my daughter off, collected my free coffee from Waitrose and stopped offIMG_4212 (1280x960) in Savernake to drink it. What birdsong there was drowned out by the sound of the rain on the car roof. Things were not looking good. As I approached the Collingbournes I could see a faint brightening of the sky to the west and on reaching the edge of the plain the rain had stopped and the cloud was starting to break up. The first bird seen was a Corn Bunting that was singing on wires over the road. I stopped to take a picture and could also hear a Skylark. After taking a couple of pictures of a Pigeon and a Jackdaw I moved on. I then stopped to take a picture of the brightening sky. It was certainly starting to look promising.

Having done so I decided to give the surrounding fields a scan. Lots of corvids and a few Hares. In the field beyond this was a Lapwing. More Corn buntings, Meadow Pipits and a Whitethroat were seen

and Cuckoo and Lesser Whitethroat heard. A bird flying in the distance caught my eye and a quick look confirmed it as a Short-eared Owl, the first of two seen. A dead Badger, Yellowhammer and Swallow were next and a small bird in the middle of the track turned out to be a Skylark that wasn’t bothered about moving

out of the way of the car. A Kestrel and Stock Doves were around some farm buildings and the second Owl was down by the side of the track.

I finished off with a very confiding Corn Bunting, cars certainly make good hides,

two Red-legged Partridge, a heard only Green Woodpecker and another distantIMG_4285 (1280x960) Cuckoo calling. Twenty-four species in all which considering the earlier weather was about twenty more than expected.

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