Tag Archives: Jay

Here we go again….

The first flush count of the winter this morning put up a total of 22 snipe, all common. All bar one (Hay Meadow) were in Big Meadow. A reasonable tally for this point in the season. The marshes are very dry, the recent rains clearly still replenishing the water table after the summer’s drought. Other notable sightings: two dunnock flying along the Upper/Lower Sowerholme boundary and a jay in Pony Wood. And something unidentified rustling amidst the phragmites which are now quite dense in parts of Upper Sowerholme.

A disappointing tally

Given the strength of snipe numbers so far this season, we were expecting a busy time this morning. But the outcome – a total of 37 including 2 probable Jacks – was considerably lower then in 2014 and 2015, albeit only i less than last year. The relatively mild conditions perhaps? Split was 13 in Hay Meadow , 2 Upper Sowerholme, 13 School Pond and 9 Big Meadow. There were 4 teal in West Field. Three teal took off from School Pond and were later seen flying away from Alder Pond. Two jays were in the  Carr House Meadow/Gun Range hedgerow, and a heron was spotted flitting around the reserve. There was a lot of evidence of small mammals (voles?) feasting on the soft rush..

Heron and jays

I saw a heron in the middle of the Grammar School field today. I have seen it there before quietly preening itself. Perhaps to get away from all the ducks on the canal.

Two jays in the Orchard.

Oh, and a lunatic youth riding a motor bike at full pelt along the Fauna path. I shouted at him but received a mouthful of abuse in return.

October flush count

Our first foray of the winter through the marshes this morning raised a total of 7 snipe: one in each of the Hay Meadow, School Pond and Flora Field, and a further four in Big Meadow. Small numbers, but still more than the past two years at this early part of the season. Extra sightings were a jay in the Hay Meadow, a kestrel over Lower Sowerholme and a wren in Upper Sowerholme.

Teal and ?

At least eight teal on School Pond yesterday morning (27th), then in the afternoon as well as teal scuttling among the rush was a bigger bird, bigger than a mallard I thin, on the water preening itself. Could this be the sheller Jon mentioned? Too dark and murky to make a good identification.

Jay in Sunnyside Lane


Whilst in the West Field this morning we found a group of feathers, the remains of a bird kill. We didn’t recognize them but include a photo here in case the remains indicate a significant species.

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For scale, the background is a piece of A4 paper.

Jay in Orchard yesterday.


Entomologists might inspect the post and board fence and gate posts around the Shed where we have a whole cluster of ladybirds. They appear (to the completely ignorant eye) to be of different types as they have a variable numbers of spots. They also appear (ditto) to be hibernating as they are inert but clearly not dead. Yet they seem very exposed to the elements.

A jay in the Orchard the other day and a pheasant in the Flora Field recently.