Posted on Tuesday, February 9th, 2010
I’ve recently taken up a voluntary post as Editor of the Great Bustard Group’s magazine ‘Otis’ and went down to the release-site on Salisbury Plain to finish up the editing of the latest issue with Suzy Elkins of AA1 Media and the GBG’s Lynne Derry. The deadline for the magazine was that afternoon, but we were just checking for typos and aligning up the images so being a birder I just had to also spend a little time photographing some of the Great Bustards that have stayed local to Salisbury Plain throughout the winter (many disperse 60km or more, particularly to the Somerset Levels, for the winter).
No-one is allowed to get close to the birds of course - they’re free-flying and very wary - so these photos are heavily cropped, but the essence of these magnificent birds (large males are the world’s heaviest flying birds) comes across I think. Just imagine seeing these birds flying in a small flock over the chalk grasslands of the Plain, or suddenly coming across a breeding pair miles from anywhere, no fencing or wire in the way…
It would be a truly memorable moment - and that’s what the GBG are working towards. Free-flying, UK-bred, wild flocks of Great Bustards roaming England again. If it’s something you’d like to see too please visit the main Great Bustard Group website to get more information - or better still join the Great Bustard Group immediately.