SPTA WEst

Those who did not make it to Scotland missed out on an exceptional birding AGM with all the key species seen.  Back on the Plain there are changes afoot.  Red Cards are becoming harder to obtain and now we have to print off the daily DRS if we visit off the public tracks.  I spent a lot of time in France in June and July watching the football and naturally visted areas for birds including the Carmargue and Crau as well as The Dombes Region.  I have only visited the Plain a few times since then as access has been limited at times.  My botany skills are improving though it tends to the English names that I remember.  There are plenty of butterflies about and I still have to look carefully to seperate Small and Essex Skippers.  The species of birds during these quiet months tends to be those that you would expect to find.  These include the grassland species of Yellowhammer, Corn Bunting, Stonechat and Whinchat.  I have also been ringing which adds Redstart, Willow Warbler, Chiifchaff, Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Whitethroat, Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler plus other buntings and finches to a long list. The other day there was even a Wood Warbler and a male Monty's was hunting nearby.  I am now recording various types of wildlife that I find including mammals and insects on the ICG website.  There are changes planned for this as well.  The one constant is that the Plain is still a military training area and is untouched by modern farming.


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