Dipping Down South

This afternoon Pete and I headed south to Langford Lakes hoping to find a Wiltshire Med gull. As you can probably guess from the title we didn’t. However it was still an enjoyable visit to this pleasant Wiltshire Wildlife trust reserve. We arrived in lovely sunshine but there was a pretty cold wind blowing. Amazingly considering the time of day 14.30, the time of year and the conditions was of our first sightings was of a bat that was feeding over a sheltered corner of the first lake. A check of the feeders gave us three species of tit and a Magpie.On the lakes were mainly Tufties and Gadwall a couple of Shoveler and singles of Pochard and Little Grebe. A group of photographers were lined up hoping for a Barn Owl to make appearance which as far as I know it didn’t.From the Great Meadow Hide we found the gulls. A good amount, mainly Black-headed with a few LBB and a couple of Commons. Also around here were Cormorants, Canada Geese, Teal and Wigeon. Graham and Christine Stacey then joined us and promptly found a Green Sandpiper, the extra pairs of eyes couldn’t magic up a Med gull though.A couple of Little Egrets also put in an appearance. At a bit before four all of the gulls took to the air and headed off towards Salisbury. Possibly heading to roost at Blashford? We then decided to head off as this would give us time to visit the east side of Salisbury plain on the way home. Passing the airfield at Netheravon we came across a flock of at least thirty Corn Buntings. On the plain itself we saw 5 Stonechats, Fieldfare and Starlings. A distant raptor could well have been a Hen Harrier but it was to far away to be sure. We also met up with Mike and Angela Trew who had seen at least nine Stonechats and a flock of Golden Plover. Eventually I picked up an owl in the far distance, initially we thought it was an SEO but soon realised that it was a Barn Owl. Fortunately it was hunting near to a track and on driving across to the area we managed to get close to it it and had great views as it quartered the grass with it dropping down a couple of times. It wasn’t successful and when we left it was still hunting. In all a slightly disappointing trip but the Barn Owl at the end certainly made it worthwhile.

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