Too mild for snipe?

A lovely morning for a flush count: warm, dry and with the trees still displaying their autumn colours. But the snipe were clearly less impressed. Graham had noted plenty around on his reserve inspection during the recent cold spell, but today’s tally was disappointing. Only 14 snipe flushed in total, 3 of them jack. There were 9 in Big Meadow, 4 in School Pond, and one in the Hay Meadow. Not even a fifth of the birds counted last November, when the temperature was 7 degrees C instead of 12.

But there were compensations. A woodcock was in Upper Sowerholme by the Lucy Brook willows. A heron flitted across from Anna’s Pool into Willow Pond, which is now holding water well. And the teal are back on School Pond, eleven flying up.

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