Post Jab Birding

Yesterday morning I was booked for my second jab in Salisbury. After dropping my wife at work I had an hour on the Plain before heading into Salisbury. As before it was very efficient at the vaccination centre, I was in and out in twenty minutes. From here I headed south to Franchises Wood which although being in the New Forest is in Wiltshire. I was hoping for Wood Lark and Wood Warbler and within yards of entering the woodland I heard a Wood Warbler. It took a few minutes to find it but once I had it was easy to follow it as it called and sung whilst moving around it’s territory. Despite the greenery I managed a couple of reasonable pictures. Heading further in a Cuckoo was calling, I stopped to look for it but it was too deep into the trees. A couple of Goldcrest were singing and while looking for them a Firecrest popped out right in front of me. I spent another hour or so here but didn’t manage to find the Wood Lark.

From here I drove to Romsey to visit a new site for me, Fishlake Meadows to try for a Purple Heron. It took me a while to find the roadside viewing platform mentioned on Birdguides, it was actually a small area of bare earth with the entrance concealed amongst the trees. I only found it as I saw a birder clambering out. I was informed that the Heron had done a flyby about fifteen minutes earlier but my luck was in as it did the same about twenty minutes later. I needed to pick my wife up from work but managed an hour or so on the Plain on the way. No Stone Curlew or Quail again but two Grey Partridge, a Hobby and thirteen Red Kites and five Buzzards circling a field that was being silaged made it a worthwhile visit. There was a lot of military activity and on a couple of occasions a quick return to the car and shutting of the windows was required to avoid being engulfed in a dust cloud.

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