Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Jack's All Right!

Jack Snipe (c) 2009 Vince Cowell
Jack Snipe (c) 2009 Mick Sharpe
Jack Snipe (c) 2009 Mick Sharpe
Snow Bunting (c) 2009 Tony Robinson
Redwing (c) 2009 Tony Robinson
Redwing (c) 2009 Tony Robinson
Redshank (c) 2009 Aileen Urquhart
Stonechat (c) 2009 Aileen Urquhart
Stonechat [female] (c) 2009 Tony Robinson
Water Rail (c) 2009 Tony Robinson
Water Rail (c) 2009 Tony Robinson
Turnstone (c) 2009 Maurice Gordon
Turnstones & Dunlin [front] (c) 2009 Maurice Gordon
Turnstones & Redshank [behind] (c) 2009 Maurice Gordon
Knot under Rigg (c) 2009 Maurice Gordon
Brent Geese (c) 2009 Aileen Urquhart
Last Wednesday’s classes were washed-out, so they were re-arranged for today. It was an amazingly warm day for late October with the morning being especially fine. Some Siskins flew past before the class started, and there was a report of Twite among some Linnets. A late ordinary Swallow (sigh) was near the car park! However, the bird of the morning was definitely the Jack Snipe, which was a new bird for 66.6% of the class. I’m pretty sure it’s also the 1st Jack Snipe we’ve ever had in 6 years of these courses! Thanks to David Constantine & the other bloke for helping us get on to the static bird. It was great to see the size contrast, as it was stood next to a Common Snipe! 2 Water Rails were also present, which showed fairly well. We went elsewhere on the site, and noted plenty of Stonechats, several Redwing, Blackbirds and Fieldfare. We sneaked past the film crew, which were interviewing the Lifeboat staff. Travelling back we had good views of c50 Brent Geese. We popped back in to see if the Jack Snipe was showing any better – it was performing its classic bobbing up and down feeding action – the 1st time I’ve had a good view of that, and a Redshank came very close to the hide. The afternoon session started with reports of both Snow Buntings and Richards Pipit being in the area – we went for the Snow Bunting, but just missed it! 2 Water Rails were on show again, but the Snipe had disappeared. As the tide was coming in we tried for the waders, and although the light was tricky, and the tide not particularly high we saw: Curlew, Bar-tailed Godwit, Golden, Grey & Ringed Plovers, Dunlin, Knot, Oystercatcher, Shelduck, Cormorant and several Stonechats again. Brian wasn’t here today, but there must have been at least 40 species on show.

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