Wheatears are Back

The last week and a bit has been pretty hectic with my daughters eighteenth birthday followed by her party at the house last weekend. Because of this birding activity has been even less than usual with just a short walk from Folly Farm and a couple of hours in Savernake. Best bird has been a Barn Owl at Chiseldon Firs late on Saturday night, seen while we were driving home from an escape the party night out in Marlborough. I also managed ten minutes at Walpole Park in Gosport on Wednesday while I was working. No Ring-billed Gull but plenty of Brent Geese. This afternoon I headed over to Folly Farm and walked up to the Ridgeway with the dog. Initially it was quiet but then a few Yellowhammers and Corn Buntings were seen. Two each of Red Kite and Buzzard along with a single Kestrel were next. Passing through the second gate I climbed up towards the Ridgeway. I stopped at the first crest and sat down to check the slope for Wheatear. This is one of their favourite areas. Almost straight away I found first one and then two males. Further scanning then found a third along with several Meadow Pipits. They were pretty flighty and I couldn’t get close enough fr a decent picture. After watching them for a few minutes I headed back towards the car. A flock of around thirty Corn Buntings settled on a group of Hawthorns and were joined by a few Yellowhammers. Two Long-tailed Tits and three Great Tits were also seen here. A few Blackbirds were noted along with the usual corvids, gulls and pigeons. No Starlings were seen today though.

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