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Post Info TOPIC: Wiltshire

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RE: Wiltshire

Tour with the Great Bustard group yesterday morning between 09:15 and 11:30

24 Great Bustard were seen in 1 group, with at least 1 of the males doing a semi display to the females. Great sight. I've attached a scoped shot.

Other birds seen were:

Ringtail Hen Harrier, 30+ Corn Bunting, 2 Yellowhammer, 4 Red Kite, 30+ Meadow Pipit, 30 Fieldfare, 20 Redwing, 30 Red Legged Partridge, 7 Stonechat, 2 Kestrel.

Great value for money.


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Visited the Great Bustard Group this afternoon, see greatbustard.org for information on the reintroduction programme which has now been underway for just over twenty years. They are based in Enford, a small village a few miles north of Stonehenge, itself a few miles north of Salisbury.

I had never been to this area of the country before. Lovely, rolling countryside, much of it given over to the Ministry of Defence. We set off in a Defender Land Rover and were soon onto Salisbury Plain a couple of miles or so west of Enford. After scanning an adjacent valley without luck, we then tried the fields behind the Groups hide but looking at these fields initially from a distance of around half a mile. A lone Male was spotted in a field of Rape before another three males were noted in the same field but a fair distance from the first bird. Too far away for any decent photos but good scope views were had.

There would have been plenty of other Bustards about in the general area but they are birds of disguise and quite readily go to ground if the need arises. Although we only saw four, it was well worth the experience and cost of 15 per person for one and a half hours. There was no real time or opportunity for other birding but three Red Kites were also seen together with several Wheatear. I have seen Great Bustards previously in both Spain and Portugal and it is now great to have them on my UK list.

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