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RSPB Normanton Down

This year I found it. Last year I’d stopped a few hundred metres short but coming at this reserve from Stonehenge made it a doddle. Apart from incessant traffic on the A303, that is.

The main problem with this year must have been the few weeks too late to catch stone-curlews, for which the site is touted. The vegetation was surely too high for breeding purposes, if I recall the stone plains of Weeting Heath correctly.

Still, the neighbouring pig farm was good for jackdaws, rooks, crows and the odd raven – just like the one up by Marshfield. I couldn’t help thinking the cloud of opportunistic predators may have been less than ideal for ground-nesting birds.

Still again, they didn’t faze a juvenile wheatear and nor did I as it allowed close approach. Black alula and white primary tips were evident through the bins. I never knew they existed. One whitethroat and many linnets were about the rest of it before I returned to battle with the A303.

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