On the Plain

Saturday afternoon Pete and decided to head for Salisbury Plain. On the way we had a look at the Alexandra Park Golden Plover flock and noted that it had grown to at least four hundred birds. A quick look in at West Kennet got Pied Wagtail but no Black Redstart, maybe the one seen at Oare is the same bird. A few Buzzards were seen in the fields including one very white individual. For a change we had decided to go to the central area of the Plain but unfortunately when we arrived at Redhorn Vedette the red flags were flying so we could only drive along the perimeter road rather than walking onto the Plain. Pretty well all that was seen was corvids until Pete spotted a bird in a tree. A check with the scopes revealed it to be a female Merlin. A Wiltshire year-tick for both of us. The only other bird of note here was a Mistle Thrush. Reaching Casterley Vedette we headed off towards the eastern side. Once we were there almost the first bird we saw was a female Hen Harrier. This was at around half-past three and the bird appeared to be heading off to its roost site. Next was a good-sized flock of thrushes and Starlings. We managed to pick out a couple of Redwings amongst the Fieldfare. After a bit more driving around during which we saw Corn Bunting, Yellowhammer and Stonechat we parked up on a high point to scan for Short-eared Owls. None was seen but we did manage to get a Green Woodpecker and a Pheasant. In all we saw twenty-one species. On the way home a diversion was made along the Grand Avenue but again no sign of a Tawny Owl.

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