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Showing posts from December, 2015

A long-awaited patch lifer and Stubb Mill roost

I will need to review my targets for the year shortly, but I can safely say Jack Snipe would have been one of them, for it has been a target species ever since I took up this South Yare patch I now call home. Historical reports came from Church Marsh, the ditch alongside the gun club was apparently decent for them. On the afternoon of the 21st I went with this in mind, paying closer attention to the ditches and patches of open fen. I flushed 23 Common Snipe, which surprised me as I expected to find fewer, what with the mild weather. I almost trod on it, one way of telling you have a Jack Snipe on your hands. As it got up, it showed the mustard stripes along its back, and a short bill. It didn't fly that far before landing again, another signal that says Jack rather than Common. Bingo! Confirmed- this secretive, diminutive Wader is indeed a winter visitor here at Church Marsh.

Yesterday morning, I had the QA checks to do at Rockland Broad.The broad itself was quiet, save for a few …

Local ramblings and SYWG walk at Church Marsh

In contrast to my last post, the weather has turned mild and wet, rather than crisp and dry. Weekends away haven't allowed for much birding, but recent Saturdays and Sundays have almost been written off with high winds and rain dominating. Saturday the 5th was little different, although the rain held off as I walked round some marshes closer to home. A Woodcock was flushed, almost flying vertically once it had lift-off. I expect many of these birds are present in the damp woodland and scurb around the village, although seeing one has more to do with luck than anything else. A small number of Siskin were just about heard over the wind, their social calls carrying a short distance on the blow before dissipating.

Yesterday, it was a pleasure to help lead the South Yare Wildlife Group annual Winter walk round Church Marsh. Just under 30 people had booked up, so we split into 2 groups, my group initially heading away from the river and taking the track via the gun club towards the chur…