It is the last week of the year and the Plain has been basking in sunshine, well some of the time.  The main roads are open as well as Imber Church and the village has been packed and chaotic with cars parked on both sides of the road as far as the bridging site 1.  I shall however start on the Centre as the annual murmuration of Starlings is back in force.  This year they are being very secretative and have estabished a roost in the centre of the impact area just south of Chirton Gorse.  I found them by following a flock and driving down the track between Redhorn Vedette and Bombard (not brilliant for cars).  There were 3 main groups and the bushes were packed.  In addition I saw 3 Peregrines that had finished hunting for the evening and were flying away.  Last Sunday I led a walk for the Wiltshire Ornithological Society to the north and west of Imber Village.  There were 46 of us and we had a very pleasant walk in the sun.  On the Plain that day was a massive cycling event, a running event, geo-caching group plus motorcross.  Then there were all the visitors to the church so it was very busy.  Fortunately we were on our own out on the training area and though there were not many birds we did see 29 species.  There were no big flocks of thrushes but there was one of Goldfinches.  In addition we saw Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Redpoll, Goldcrest, Sparrowhawk, Woodcock and Stonechat to mention a few.  The previous day I had also seen Great Spotted Woodpecker and Reed Bunting on the route.  Alas there was not a Hen Harrier nor a Short-eared Owl.  I did see them that afternoon however at bridge crossing 3.  I popped out this afternoon to the eastern side of the Warminster Danger Area and though I did not see the key wintering birds there were plenty of other birds especially in some of the scrub and gorse that has not yet been removed.  One of my favourite warbler sites by Gurkha Track is being scrubbed out and soon there will be little scrub left.  The winter bournes are not yet running though there are plenty of puddles and the ponds are full.  Despite lots of visitors, away from the major routes the area remains wild and a haven for wildlife.  Happy New Year.


  1. Chris white | 30th Jun 2019 01:50 PM

    I understand you guys are mainly concerned with ringing birds but I was hoping to ask for some advice on good birdwatching spots on Salisbury plain as there isn’t much written online.
    Many thanks,


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