Monthly Archives: June 2019

Out on the Plain Again

Another trip out to Salisbury Plain. This time to take my BMW driving friend off road on a Quail hunt. Sometimes my Honda Jazz is the go to vehicle. Fortunately the wind had dropped a little and the sun was out so we had high hopes. Pulling up at a favoured spot we weren’t even out of the car when we heard a Quail calling. We spent around an hour here and in total had at least six calling birds. Also a couple of Whinchat and several Corn Buntings amongst the many birds around. Also seen were good numbers of Butterflies, Moths and Pyramidal Orchids. An added bonus were the gliders launching from Upavon Airfield. From here we headed to the Central Area Perimeter Road hoping to find a Great Bustard. Unfortunately we didn’t but no matter as always it is a great place to be.

Quite a Week

Life has been pretty hectic recently with lots of trips to London with my mother having been in hospital. So birding and blogging have both taken a bit of a back seat. However it has all kicked off this week starting with the Little Bustard turning up at Slimbridge last Sunday. Instead of heading straight there I faffed around for the best part of three-quarters of an hour before setting off. This meant I arrived about twenty minutes after it flew off further onto the Dumbles. it took a couple of hours to get some less than satisfying views of the bird but just about good enough for a lifer. On Wednesday it was another trip into Gloucestershire for a Red-backed Shrike that had been found at Birdlip. This time I didn’t hang around and within a hour I was watching the Shrike, along with a handful of other birders. On Friday evening my wife, the dog and myself headed for an evening walk on Salisbury Plain. The Plain is one of my favourite spots but it can be an all or nothing place to visit. This evening came up trumps with two Stone Curlew, seven Quail (heard but not seen as usual), four Whinchat and two Grasshopper Warblers, both of which were seen. a Great Bustard that was no more than ten feet away on the edge of the track before it flew across the front of the car and landed in sight around a hundred metres away. My second Bustard in a week and the third of the year. And yes I know they are a re-introduction but still great to see. Also loads of butterflies, insects generally and several Pyramidal Orchids.The only disappointment was yet again not a sniff of a Barn Owl. There  was also an impressive sunset. On the way home we spent half-an-hour in Savernake with no sight or sound of a Nightjar. This morning I actually managed to get out on the motorbike with a morning ride out to Greenham Common. Arriving later than intended at about nine and despite the amount of people and the heat there were good numbers of birds to be seen. Woodlark and Tree Pipit obliged but Dartford Warbler didn’t. The Woodlark bought up my two hundred for the year.