Friday, 16 October 2009

Bouncing Jack

The last time I looked at the Restharrow Scrape it was totally dry, but when I was in the obs the other day Ian told me it was wetter now.

The rain we have had in the last couple of weeks has raised the water table sufficiently to start the process of refilling the flood.

I had heard that there were a couple of Jack Snipes about, Although they are unobtrusive characters they are also quite charismatic, with their bright braces and perpetual motion bobbing. At first I could see any sign, but then is saw they bouncing motion of one quite close, through the reeds.
Across the little bay a second one appeared in the reeds, but soon decided on an afternoon nap and tucked its head under its wing. Even then it legs gently bobbed up and down.

There were few other birds around but a Carrion Crow dropped in close by for a drink.

The nearest Jack Snipe now started to feed quite actively and slowly worked its way towards me, appearing in the gaps in the reeds for short periods before disappearing.

A few Goldfinches dropped in, and a couple of small parties of about 25 flew over.

There were two Pied Wagtails around and several Meadow Pipits dropped in for a drink.

All the time these transitory visitors provided a distraction I was keeping an eye on the progress of the Jack Snipe.
I had begun to think that they've been trained in two concepts for dealing with photographers, first never stop moving and second make sure there's always a reed obscuring part of you. I was therefore delighted when it came out pretty much in the open.

It even stopped bobbing for a few seconds when something, perhaps a crow passing overhead caught its attention.

Once it got to this gap it carried on working along the edge, but unfortunately the very slight bank meant that only the top half was visible.

Just as I was about to leave a group of three male and two female Pheasants came down to drink. This reminded me I was hungry and needed to go home for some lunch.


Warren Baker said...

''This reminded me I was hungry'' Why, was pheasant on the menu? :-)

Great set of Jack Snipe pics Tony.

Anonymous said...

Nice Jack pics Tony.

Steve of Sturry said...

Nice Jack pictures Tony.