Ten members met at the NT car park on a sunny but breezy morning for a walk around Culver Down led by Jackie Hart. Unfortunately, the stiff NE wind meant there was a lack of early spring migrant species present (Wheatears had been seen earlier in the week). However, it was lovely to see so many Skylarks during the morning with a minimum of 26 recorded. A number of males were bravely singing up in the sky, proclaiming their territory, despite the windy conditions. The other highlight for many was walking to Bembridge Fort to look for the Short-eared Owls which have been present during the winter. One was still present but took a while to be found as it was hunkered down in the scrub out of the wind, so it was well camouflaged.
In total, 15 species were seen on the down along with a White-tailed Eagle which was spotted in a tree down on Brading Marshes RSPB reserve. The other species seen, and not mentioned above, were; Herring Gull 9, Jackdaw 4, Kestrel 2, Dunnock 4, Meadow Pipit 4, Chiffchaff 1 heard in the car park whilst waiting for everyone to arrive, Magpie 2, Carrion Crow 5, Stonechat 2, Buzzard 2, Raven 1, Wren 1 and Woodpigeon 1. Jim Baldwin