Monday, 18 October 2010

Jack Snipe (Upton Warren)

With a sunny weekend forecast, I should have been eager to be up with the dawn chorus on Saturday, but the overseas trip to Oslo (work) earlier in the week had left me with a chronic case of the yawns. Late nights and early mornings, which I blame on free wifi in the hotel room.

First call on Saturday after I'd dragged myself out of bed was actually the barbers, to trim the unruly mop of hair I'd been sporting lately. Then it was down the road to see if I could locate any of the little owls. I did, albeit just the one. And it was peeking out of a gap in the tree at me, which actually made for some different shots of it.

Eventually it came out into the open, briefly, before flying deeper into the tree to hide from a small flock of jackdaws that had descended on to the branches at the top. My cue to leave. with reports of a jack snipe being seen on the main pool at the Moors, I'd decided to head there for a change to the Flashes.

Peering out of the car window as I arrived, I saw someone in the North Moors hide, so thought I'd be nosey. Entering the hide I was informed of a jack snipe, right in front of the hide! Fantastic. I'd assumed that my views would be distant, given the scoped pics of the one on the other pool but this character was merely a few feet away.

Bobbing away, it mooched around in the shadows, occasionally pausing allowing me to try to get some better shots. The gold stripes down the back of this bird are so vibrant, and when it ventured into areas where the light was getting through, the green stripes were lit up beautifully.

In between feeding, the bird would half doze off, for up to 45 mins at a time, and at about 1pm, it tucked its bill into its back feathers and I had to leave, to indulge in another pleasurable activity... golf. Some great birds around on the course (Lickey Hills), including a fine mistle thrush, perched atop a tree laden with berries. No camera, of course!

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