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January Snipe Flush Count

The Flush team carried out the January Snipe flush count on Monday 9th in reasonable weather, after the recent downpours. We were joined by Colin McShane, as seen on Winterwatch. He is doing a long-term study of Jack Snipe and was impressed by the numbers found in Big Meadow, and has deemed it to be an important site for these birds.                                                              This winter there have been slightly lower numbers of Common Snipe, probably due to the mild conditions across Scandinavia and Northern Europe. We counted 20 Jack Snipe and 37 Common Snipe, all in Big Meadow except for 1 Jack Snipe in School Pond, so a total of 57.

December Snipe Flush Count

Today’s flush count was carried out in good conditions, with some welcome sun at times. Two Snipe came up from School Pond, and then 33 Common Snipe and 24 Jack Snipe were flushed from the rushy areas of Big Meadow, giving a total of 59 for the two species.

A Woodcock was also spotted flying up from Upper Sowerholme with six Mallard, and 4 Teal were seen on School Pond.

November Flush Count

The first Snipe flush count was carried out on Monday. This autumn the weather has been very mild and relatively dry, so birds could be later arriving in Britain from eastern Europe. Resident Common Snipe in Britain are joined by birds from Scandinavia, Iceland and mainland Europe. Jack Snipe don’t breed here but overwinter here after breeding in northern Europe and Russia. The overall count was 42 birds (including 15 Jack Snipe) mostly in Big Meadow with 6 in School Pond where the conditions have improved from last year.

Clio Graham



Ichneumon Wasp

This species of ichneumon wasp (Gasteruption jaculator) was seen on the reserve yesterday. They use their long ovipositor to insert their eggs into a bee’s nest. When the wasp’s eggs hatch the grubs eat the grubs of the bee..