Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Snooping For Snipe

FAUNA Nature Reserve, Lancaster
On Monday morning I joined in with the monthly snipe flush at the FAUNA nature reserve in Lancaster.
During the winter months a small number of volunteers (usually just 2-3 people) systematically walk the boggy areas of the reserve in order to put up any snipe so that they can get an accurate count of the number of birds using the site.

We started off well, flushing 3 woodcock in an area of Upper Sowerholme where this species has been seen in the past. The presence of three woodcock here strongly suggests that this could be a regular wintering area for a small number of these elusive birds.
Next we worked our way through School Pond, putting up an impressive 47 common snipe and a single jack snipe. There were also 20 teal here.
A further 23 common snipe and another jack snipe were flushed from Big Meadow.

As temperatures drop and winter sets in, it seems likely that could see notable increases in the number of snipe roosting here. It will certainly be interesting to see how many birds are found on counts in January and February. I for one, will be more than happy to join Graham, Glenys and Paul on their future snipe quests.


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