P.M. on the Plain

A busy day today started with droppingin at work to update them on my progress. This was followed by getting two new tyres on the car then driving to Marlborough to buy some posh wellies. Got my first Red Kite of the year on the way. I went into Savernake to eat my sarnie, a dead loss here. Two Robins, a heard only Nuthatch and a Roe Deer. Then it was off to the east side of Salisbury Plain for the rest of the afternoon. More year-ticks with Stock Dove, an Apache helicopter and a smart pair of Stonechats. I took a couple of pictures of the male from the car then got out to try to get one of the female. I was only few yards from the car when a raptor appeared from over the ridge. A quick rush to the car for my bins to confirm it was a Ringtail Hen Harrier, the main target bird for the trip in the book in the first fifteen minutes. A top result. I had great views as it passed close by and then quartered the grass for a minute or so before heading off over the next ridge. A drive around the tracks with another stop to scan  added a couple of Buzzards and Kestrels. It was a real big sky day on the Plain today with great visibility allowing great views over towards the Vale of Pewsey. I stopped at Weather Hill Firs where there was a large flock of Redwing in the trees. I also managed to see a Nuthatch here but a singing Treecreeper couldn’t be located. Next it was time to head for a viewpoint to scan for Short-eared Owls. Not a sniff of one by just gone four which was time to head for home. I was quite happy with a total of eighteen species for the visit.

 

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