SPTA West

It is still very wet with roads flooded and bournes full. Tilshead and Shrewton have traffic lights in place to control traffic through the floods.  The tracks are covered in mud from armourd vehicles and tanks are about.  I have been out twitching especially the Red-flanked Bluetail which was not too far away.  I even drove to Cepe Country Park for the Leser Yellowlegs after watching a Bittern at Blashford Lakes.  I finished the day with Hawfinch at Blackwater Arboretum. Yesterday during the Hen Harrier survey I added Merlin to this year's list of birds.  At NZ Farm a firefight put off quite a few birds from flying direct including a Hen Harrier but afterwards a Short-eared Owl did not deviate.  The previous day a Short-eared Owl flew low right past me at Vedette 6.  At Thorncombe Farm a Woodcock and 2 Snipe were flushed and another Woodcock was flushed at Grant's Farm.  In the wood a male Bullfinch gave fantastic views and 3 Goldcrest were flitting around at the entrance into the woods by the valley track.  There were 18 species on the walk despite the very strong winds.  There are hundreds of Fieldfares and Starlings scattered across the Plain and Golden Plover are still present as are Lapwings.  A drive around woods and hedgerows at midnight did not attract a Long-eared Owl and all the surveys conducted suggest that they are not present but I am sure there has to be one somewhere.  The area is so large that not all of it is covered and all this rain does not help by limiting nights out.

Bittern

Red-flanked Bluetail


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