Sunday, 9 December 2012

No Jack

I stepped into the flooded water meadows to the east of village and began counting Snipe. Conditions were perfect, as bird after bird rose from the marsh, calling "creak" and zigg-zagging away.

Within a minute my local record of 20 Snipe was smashed. Well, I had counted 21. But I had set my sights high and wanted the more sought after Snipe species today: Jack Snipe. I have never found one here in Cuddesdon and with every step across the marsh my chances grew smaller. I kept telling myself that Jack Snipe flush late and close, but all too soon the marsh had been covered. I had Snipe, but no Jack:

Even more disappointing, a number of white feathers in one corner of the marsh revealed that the Barn Owl I saw last week had succumbed to either hunger, a predator or both:

As I headed back I flushed a further 3 Snipe from the wet corner of a wheat field that used to be the set-aside. 24 for the day. Get in!

Three flocks totalling about 500 Lapwing passed north down the Thame valley, but there was only a single Golden Plover flying around, calling mournfully. I really should have done another BTO Thrush count today, there were shed-loads of Fieldfares and Redwing about. This was one of the palest of many Buzzards feeding in the soaking fields:

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