Friday, 12 March 2010

Dancing Jacks

Jack Snipe, East Hyde (Ben Andrew)


Although the wind veered to the north today, it felt much more warmer than of late, and was a very pleasant and bright day. Temperatures managed to climb to 8 degrees C.


With the weather perking up, I decided to return to East Hyde, to make the most of the wintering Jack Snipe before they leave for the bogs of Northern Scandinavia and western Siberia. Darin Stanley was there, and from 1800-1830 hours we enjoyed a fabulous display.

Although 1-2 JACK SNIPES were already 'bouncing' and in full view at 1800 hours, the next 20 minutes saw the remaining three creep out from the vegetation and act out their crepuscular existence. By 1815, all 5 birds were showing very well in the stream, all actively feeding and vibrating with their bodies to attract food to the surface. As dusk approached, they became very active, greeting each other and bathing in the shallow water. One bird was less than 15 feet away. What a fantastic spectacle. These are such special birds and this winter has been one of the best for the species in decades, these five individuals offering a unique opportunity of study.

The GREEN SANDPIPER flew in to roost, whilst a WATER RAIL performed further down the stream. Twelve Gadwall were counted.

The male FIRECREST joined a few Long-tailed Tits in the hedgerow late on - perhaps he roosts with them (Lee G R Evans)

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