Author Archives: SteveB

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..



Fairfield Chaffinches and Bramblings. Their comings and goings.

Birdwatchers at the feeding tables in Fairfield have been enjoying the spectacle of large numbers of Chaffinches, whilst trying to spot the small number of their close relative the Brambling.

Probably about half the Chaffinches will be migrants, mostly from Norway and Sweden. They migrate mainly by day but rather than heading directly to Britain they fly south-west to cross the Channel from France, Belgium, and The Netherlands. This avoids the longer crossing of water over the North Sea.

The Bramblings we see in Britain are almost entirely migrants, mainly from Scandinavia and Finland. Unlike the Chaffinch they migrate mainly at night and head directly for Britain, crossing the North Sea on a broad front.

The Bramblings and migrant Chaffinches will probably begin returning to their breeding grounds in early March.