After decorating for most of the weekend I promised myself a day out on Monday. South Coast here I come. Sibe Stonechat at Titchfield, Ring-billed Gull back at Gosport and if I fancied going a hundred and fifty-five miles from home there was a Red breasted Flycatcher at Beachy Head. So with the forecast good I loaded up the bike and set the alarm for six. Alarm goes off and the morning blues set in. So much for a clear morning with sunshine, windy and damp outside. No fun on the bike so unload the stuff into the car and go to the Water Park instead. Good at Shorncote but no sign of the Bearded Tits. Water Rail, Cetti’s, Bullfinch, Reed bunting, Green Woodpecker and Sparrowhawk all good though. I later find out that they appeared twenty minutes after I left. Such is birding. I then moved back into Wiltshire and did the walk from Waterhay to the Reed Hide. Not so much around here but Jay, Chiffchaff, twenty-five Little Egrets, another Sprawk and twelve Curlew not a bad haul. After watching Starlings by the car park I headed home via Eysey where a Peregrine was sat atop the mound.Also here were a few gulls and a Little Egret.
In the afternoon, after seeing on Twitter that the good birds were all showing on the sun-bathed South Coast (will I never learn to stick to a plan!) I decided to head for Salisbury Plain. Maybe a Hen Harrier or a SEO would cheer me up. Neither showed but a total of seven Stonechats was unexpected.
Today it was more decorating but a quick visit to the Post Office in Wroughton allowed a stop at the reservoir, where seven Little grebes were noted. Then an essential trip to Marlborough gave me some more time out. The route home took in Froxfield, two Little Egrets, 3 Green Sandpipers and a Grey Wagtail. Chilton Foliat, over a hundred Mallard, twenty plus Gadwall and five Little Grebe. I was saddened to see that the nice bit of woodland adjacent to the road by the bridge has been, in what appears to be an act of enviromental vandalism (please correct me if i am wrong on this), obliterated by heavy machinery and bonfires. Hopefully there is good reason but not nice to see. Before and after pictures show the difference. (before pic taken from http://swindonbirdsandwildlife.blogspot.co.uk/ courtesy of Google Earth) Then it was a stop at Axford, Grey Wagtail and Kingfisher, before heading home.