Saturday, 19 December 2009

Ripe for Snipe

Yesterday this nice Lesser Redpoll was present on the nyger feeder:

This morning I glimpsed what I assume is the same bird at dawn, too dark for photography as these soft images show, but this is clearly one pink Redpoll! I immediately thought of Mealy Redpoll but on reflection it's too buff and brown on the mantle with buff not white in the wingbars:

A bitterly cold night, down to -6 degrees and still only -3 degrees when I head out at 8.30am, full of cold weather anticipation. Shooting puts up a large flock of 120 Lapwings and the first Golden Plover of the winter, 14 in total. The floods have receeded but conditions are ripe for snipe. As soon as I get into the flood meadows I start flushing Snipe. The main field holds a record 17 Snipe, which rise at 25 - 50m. Keen to find a Jack Snipe here I tramp around the edges of the frozen flood knowing this species only flush at close range, but without luck. I do manage to photograph 2 Snipe on the ground though:

Along the river 1 drake Teal is a surprise, meaning there are now 2 records of this species here, one a 50 birds and one of 1 bird. Fieldfares and Redwing are present in the hedgerows, but there has been no big cold weather influx.  The stubble field next to the set aside still holds good numbers of birds, small numbers of Yellowhammer and Reed Bunting, but lots of Skylark - at least 350:

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