Had a call from my sister that when she walks the dog, they keep encountering a small silent Snipe, so yesterday morning I popped down with my camera hoping to get decent images of jack Snipe.
Called in at Amwell for an hour or so. A large part of the water is still iced up, but it was quite pleasant in the sunshine. The singing Cetti's Warblers thought so too-they seem to have survived the recent freeze. A single Egyptian Goose was about the best of the bunch at first, until I noticed a pair of Mandarin hauled up on the island. More exotica then ensued when the Harris Hawk put in an appearance again, soaring over the woods. Was a bit of a struggle but we eventually got on to a single redhead Smew before I left. Shortly after, Jan picked up a Mealy Redpoll again.
Arrived at Sarah's and after feeding the animals, we took Molly for a walk in the fields behind their house. The low lying areas were flooded and looked promising, particularly the tussocky stream, but despite searching the area, no Snipe. Found a large flock of Redwing adjacent to the A10 and there were a few Woodpeckers flying around.
Bringing the camera was not a complete waste.
This morning went for a walk along the river Beane. Encountered small numbers of Redwing, and the occasional Mistle Thrush scattered all over the area. One flock of Fieldfare numbered 35. Not much in the fields-no larks, pipits and very few finches, not surprising as the ground is still largely frozen.
Three Green Woodpeckers together was interesting, and the usual three Bullfinch were seen in the horse paddocks. Have not seen the Little Owls here for quite while.
Got a call this afternoon, the Snipe was seen again.