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Yesterday’s Glamorgan Bird Club trip to Salisbury Plain, RSPB Winterbourne Downs and Martin Down National Nature Reserve was amazing. The weather was stunning, the bird sightings were brilliant, as were the butterflies, and, as always, the company was wonderful.

190513 Salisbury (1)

The views from high on Salisbury Plain were lovely – we even had a distant view of the White Horse, though it was a little disconcerting being so close to the military impact area and to have the serenading of the plentiful skylarks occasionally shattered by the booms of exploding shells. The joy-riding trailbikers and off-roaders weren’t exactly peaceful either.

190513 great bustard

Still, we saw some amazing birds – I managed to spot the only Great bustard of the day (you’ll just have to believe me when I say that the head in the centre of the dip in the vegetation in the photo above is definitely a Great bustard!) and we had splendid ’scope sightings of Stone curlews and chicks at Winterbourne – both bird sightings were lifers for me. My best bird photo of the day was the Corn bunting shown below – captured out of the car window as we drove by.

190513 corn bunting

We also enjoyed some superb butterfly sightings – my first Small blues and Brown Argus for the year, and, finishing on a high, my first ever (two) Marsh fritillaries at Martin Down.

190513 marsh fritillary