The flush count this morning revealed a measly total of 22 snipe, 3 of which were jacks. Three birds in the Hay Meadow, the rest in Big Meadow. The running total for this winter stands at just 58, the lowest it has been since we started the winter counts in 2013/14. But it is still mild and also today very wet in the marshes, so the snipe may well be on alternative feeding sites.
Better news was a sighting of two brown hares (separately) in West Field. A small roe deer moved off into Upper Sowerholme, and quite a large frog was disturbed in the Hay Meadow up towards Lucy’s Pool.
Lovely bright, warm morning for our last outing of the 2016/17 season. A total of 17 snipe still in the marshes (similar to this time last year). 1 in the Hay Meadow, 6 in Upper Sowerholme and 10 in Big Meadow. Somewhat surprisingly, there were no snipe flushed in School Pond. Perhaps being deterred by too much standing water – the numbers were down last month when it was also very wet.
For the season as a whole, the total number of snipe counted was almost identical to last season (390 versus 393). But the distribution over the months was different. Last winter’s peak was in March. This winter’s peak was in December, following a strong November tally.
A frog was spotted close to Lucy’s Pool. Reed bunting and meadow pipit were in evidence in Big Meadow. And after the group had split up, Graham disturbed a brown hare at the north end of the Big Meadow marsh as he made his way home.