Thursday, 13 October 2016

Jack Snipe Maridalen

I only managed to squeeze in a short trip to Maridalen today but it revealed that there had been an arrival of new birds. On the stubble field there were 19 Twite, 31 Meadow Pipits, 4 Tree Sparrows, 20 Yellowhammer and 10 Reed Bunting. I also thought I heard amongst the buntings both Lapland and a Little/Rustic Bunting but never heard the calls again or saw these species so will have to let them go.

Highlight though was a Jack Snipe. There are not many marshy areas left in Maridalen as the farmers try to become more “efficient” and drain any wet areas of their fields. The old “Snipe Marsh” has been well and truly drained but another wet area has survived despite the farmer’s best attempts and I regularly check this area for snipe. I have had up to 11 Common Snipe, a single record of Great Snipe and Jack Snipe there three times before. The previous Jack Snipe have all been in April including this memorable bird but I have never previously had an autumn record when the species is generally much more common.

When I have checked the field this autumn I had 11 Common Snipe on 29 Sept and 2 on 10 October. On 11 October there were no snipe to see but I did notice a lot of droppings, footprints and beak marks that I was not entirely convinced were from Common Snipe. It was therefore no great surprise when a Jack Snipe flew up today. Compared to Common Snipe, Jack Snipe flies up in such a feeble way that it is amazing to think that this individual has probably come from Finland and may well continue all the way to the UK to winter.
never easy to photograph a Jack Snipe (kvartbekkasin) in flight

one picture that was nearly sharp but exposure completely wrong

Twite (bergirisk)
Autumnal colours and some Goosander (laksand)

a closer picture of a 1cy Goosander

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