(1) Blog Posts Made in February 2016


I spent Christmas with a tour in Extremadura, Spain where I had great views of Spanish Imperial Eagle and at last added Penduline Tit to my list of birds seen.  I had promised my wife that I would accompany her to the Salisbury Athletics Club Christmas function on 9 Jan; she won England Athletics Coach of the Year in 2015.  I therefore spent the weekend before in Norfolk to start off my year list.  It was not until mid month that I was really back on the Plain.  I do not think it has been cold enough to push the birds down south.  There is little life about the area and Short-eared Owls still escape me though for the last 2 weeks certain areas have been out of bounds as a large exercise takes place.  On the Centre I did see a male Hen Harrier.  On the west by Fish Hook there were some Woodcock and Shipe.  Went to Carrymoor last week for Jack Snipe.  I also visted the Cotswold Water Park for Smew, Great Northern Diver and Red-crested Pochard.  Manadarin Duck are missing at Fonthill Lake.  What is going on this winter?  Back on the Plain it has been very wet and windy with the normal woodland birds plus corvids and pigeons about.  There have been a few Meadow Pipit, Skylark and Stonechat sightings.  There have been some reasonable numbers of Linnet, Goldfinch and Corn Bunting.  Yellowhammer flocks are in short supply as are Redwing!  There are plenty of Fieldfare often mixed with Starling but very few Redwing as is the case for Lapwing and Golden Plover.  I have spent more time visiting other sites in Wiltshire due to the restrictions and weather to see birds such as Siberian Chiffchaff at Wesbury Sewage Works.  I even managed to go ringing 2 mornings but both were cut short as the wind and rain picked up.  Next job when the weather improves is to finish sorting out, and putting up new, bird boxes.  Though a month has passed a Happy New Year to you all.