Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Salisbury Plain East 26th April 2015


football prevented me from waking up at silly o'clock the last ringing morning after my incredible trip up to Derbyshire. But today I was raring to go after a 3 weeks absence from ringing duties, so what better place to go to than the Salisbury Plain, the British Mainland Bird Migration Capital!

As all you have picked up the weather hasn't been its finest, this caused a major lack of Warblers that you'd expect at this time of year passing through to their breeding grounds. However you have to go through the lows to encounter the highs (is that a made up expression?) Our high was nothing short of  beautiful in any way, shape or form. I'm really hitting these quotes aren't I!?

It was a 1st Summer Male AKA 5M Redstart, this really brightened up our morning and gave us hope that these birds could be breeding in the little copse we ring in. What made this a 5M was the brown on the greater coverts, compared to an adult male which which would have had a completely slaty grey 'hood' covering the coverts. Spurred on by this Paul W, Matt and I later set up some nest boxes all 15 of them in case they decided to nest here fingers crossed. However, we're really setting it up for next year through spare Tree Sparrow boxes. 

The morning then progressed with a still steady trickle of birds totalling to this...
Thanks to North Wilts ringing group: Blackcap 11 (3), Whitethroat 1 (2), Redstart 1, Linnet 6, Goldfinch 1, Great Tit 3 (1), Blue Tit 0 (3), Long Tailed Tit 4, Goldcrest 2, Wren 1 (2), Blackbird 2 (1), Song Thrush 1, Yellowhammer 1 (1), Robin 0 (2), Dunnock 0 (5), Chaffinch 0 (1)

There was still yet to be the star of the show for me though, a bird that has been in the news regularly in the past few weeks for negative reasons, and that is the Hen Harrier. A male giving us prolonged views. Sadly though I didn't have my camera on me at the time but watched it grace the long grass in search of prey. This was in fact the first one I have seen inside the Wiltshire boundaries so was very special to me! 

Yep, so thanks again to my trainer for a quiet, yet special day with two stand outs.

I had also found in the days round then a Blackbird's nest in my Garden that I thought I'd share with you...

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