Sunday, 31 March 2013

Jack Snipe at Tewin Hertfordshire

Having failed to see Jack Snipe earlier in the year at Rainham, This morning gave me the opportunity to visit a small nature reserve I had never heard of until very recently.
Tewinbury Nature Reserve in Hertfordshire has been reporting Jack Snipe since the 16th March and with it only being 24 miles from home it's time to give it a visit.
Forty minutes after setting off, we are turning off the B1000 into the entrance to the Tewin Bury Farm Hotel. Parking the car in the first car park on the right hand side of the drive. After walking in the wrong direction, we eventually realise that the hide was passed as we drove along the driveway.

The hide is a two tier construction, so we opt for the top tier. Opening the hide windows reveals a small lagoon with reedbeds behind which have channels cut into them.
A quick scan of the area only produces Canada Geese, Little Grebe, Coot, Mallard and Moorhen on the water with Reed Buntings numerous around the fringes.

A scan of the reeds with the scope does the trick, as I pick up a Jack Snipe asleep well hidden within the reeds but only a metre from the front edges.
After a short while it wakes and starts it's bobbing action, giving good views of the bill at the same time. Within the hour that we stayed, the bird never moved more than a foot from the position I first found it in. But it gave good views when it did decide to move and preen itself.
A Kingfisher made a very brief appearance, so brief that I missed it altogether while watching the Jack Snipe through the scope.

It was good to see blue skies overhead at last, and a little bit of sunshine. Lets hope it's the start of some decent weather at last.

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