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Saturday, 26 January 2013

Jack Snipes, Whoopers & Glaucous

Driving past Oulton Broad Mutford Lock bridge, I could see Rob Wil, scoping something by the time I had parked up and walked round he had gone. Looking over I could see 2 Redshank and a Snipe, Morris B arrived and I suddenly spotted the excellent Jack Snipe right in the back corner, seen behind a drainage pipe, it was bobbing up and down on the mud before it walked up to the snow and disappeared behind a clump of grass. Later when we had been joined by Ricky F, Paul & Jane F, Tony B & Neville S, 3 Snipes were at the back and 2 Jack Snipes came out running down to the shore whilst one disappeared up the bank. A Rock Pipit flew down to the side of the bridge briefly before flying off. I later saw Dave H & Paul W as I left. At Leathes ham, 8 Pintail seen (4 males and 4 female) including the pale buff coloured head of the male from last winter plus a male Wigeon. At Waddling Lane, driving down to it from the Queen Highway at Flixton and taking the lane west of the telephone box, I met James B & Paul W and looking north from the gate, at the far end of the field in front of a wood, were a family party of 6 excellent Whooper Swans, with 2 adults and 4 immatures. feeding at the back of the field. Back at Oulton Broad, I was parking up ready to photograph the Jack Snipe, when a tweet stated that the Glaucous was on the water from the yacht club and I joined Morris B & Tony B and I could see the excellent 1st year Glaucous Gull swimming on the water just by a pale pink buoy it started to swim right and I could see the large two tone pink and black- tipped bill, biscuit coloured plumage and and white wings/ primaries. It swam around for a while and watched for twenty minutes before it flew west at around late afternoon. I was joined by first Ricky F and then jane, Paul F & Robert Wil and later Andrew E. Also on the water quite close to us, was the ever popular "Woody" the male Wood Duck, a very smart plumaged male. Walking over to the bridge the Jack Snipe was showing very well by the drainage pipe as I looked over the wall albeit in fading light. Again it was bobbing up and down, then it walked into the water before walking onto the mud by the drainage pipe. Later, a walk around Warren House Wood, I saw a Woodcock fly up and west. It was great to see Snipe, Jack snipe & Woodcock all in one day. Looking around the stream by the Japanese Knotweed, no sign of the hoped for rail and the dark drape of dusk had fallen, back in Warren House wood, I heard 2 Tawny Owls hooting from the eastern end of the wood.

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