"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Friday, 27 February 2015

A Brief Visit to Marsh Lane NR - Snipes Galore - and Another Garden Moth

It was a beautiful day today - dry and sunny with a definite Spring-like feel - so B and I went along to Marsh Lane NR for an hour or so this afternoon.

We stopped off at one of the small pools where there is a viewing screen/hide - there were a few Tufted Ducks

and this Coot.

Robin by one of the feeding stations.

We spent some time in Oak Hide which overlooks Railway Pool - where we watched Tufted Ducks, Lapwings, Mute Swans, Grey Herons, Pochard and Black-headed Gulls, some of which are now acquiring their black heads. The Coots were being very territorial and there was a lot of chasing and splashing taking place and it was good to see the Black Swan as I haven't seen it for a while.

Mute Swan

Part of the view from Oak Hide - the channel in the foreground attracts Common Snipe (and the occasional Jack Snipe).

Common Snipe

You can see in this photo (there are two) how well camouflaged Snipe are.

Alder Catkins and Cones

Dandelion and Gorse in flower.

I knew there were beehives on the Reserve but I finally found out today where they are located - on the edge of the crop field.

One of my favourite trees looking very colourful.

We finished off the visit in Car Park Hide which overlooks Car Park Pool. As we opened the shutters in the hide it was apparent that there were at least ten Snipe feeding not far away. At first they flattened themselves low into the grass

but within seconds were happily feeding away again. I don't think I have ever been so close to Snipe before.


We didn't see the Pintail or Goosanders which have been seen recently at the reserve but I did add 8 species to the year list - Jackdaw, Little Grebe, Chaffinch, Reed Bunting, Mute Swan, Black Swan, Oystercatchers (yes a pair have already returned) and Greylag Goose.

Garden Moths

I spotted a Satellite (Eupsilia transversa) on the garage window earlier this week.

I did put the moth trap out on Wednesday night between 6.30 p.m. and midnight (had to bring it in then as heavy rain was forecast later that night) as it was so mild but failed to trap any moths.


Countryside Tales said...

Love all the Snipe. Great to see the Satellite too. I also trapped this week and had 6 species including one new to the garden so was pleased. The season is starting now I feel :o)

Ragged Robin said...

Countryside Tales - Thanks :) Yes loved watched the Snipe feed - a sort of sewing machine action :) Well done on the 6 month species - slow start here but at least I've seen a couple :)

Ragged Robin said...

Countryside Tales - Sorry meant moth not month!! Shouldn't have had that extra glass of wine! :)

Margaret Adamson said...

great post with lots to see. I cannot get over all the snipe you saw. Brilliant. Have a wonderful weekend.

Ragged Robin said...

Margaret Adamson - Thanks very much Margaret. There were around 6 snipe in the channel on Railway Pool and about 8 on the grass in front of Car Park Hide :) Have a lovely weekend too.

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

It's interesting that snipe and quail have those white stripes along the back

Ragged Robin said...

Simon Douglas Thompson - Thanks for the comment Simon. I hadn't thought about that before - perhaps its something to do with camouflage and breaking up the outline?

amanda peters said...

Another lovely day out for you, soooo jealous of the Snipe photos, how great to see so many..
After seeing the Black Swan last week and I see you have recorded one as well, are they all escapees from privet or park collections...
Amanda xx

Ragged Robin said...

Amanda Peters - Thanks so much Amanda.

Yes, I believe they Black Swans in the wild are escapees from private or park collections. They were brought over originally from Australia. I think there are several 100 scattered throughout the country and they have attempted to breed. The one at Marsh Lane is on its own although it tends to hang around with the Mute Swans!! I understand from other birders that its been there for some years.

I probably shouldn't count it for the year list by the way as its non-native! but I suppose there is a grey area about species that have naturalised!! :)

Chris Rohrer said...

Your COSN photos are AWESOME!!! Any snipe is hard to photograph so congrats. I'm really glad you got that new camera. The Lapwing is outstanding. Okay, time for coffee and some enjoyable read from your blog:)

Ragged Robin said...

Chris Rohrer - Thanks so much Chris for your very kind comment :) Must admit I used my dslr and 70-300 lens for the photos. I still haven't had time to learn how to use the new Bridge Camera. However, thanks to another blogger I have now discovered a bird forum with dozens of pages on how to use the Canon bridge for bird photography - so watch this space :)

Chris Rohrer said...

I'm still marveling at those Common Snipe shots! They are absolutely amazing. They are so tricky to get decent pics of! You'll get the swing of it eventually. And then you'll get something new:) Gotta love the blogging process:)

Ragged Robin said...

Chris Rohrer - Thanks so much Chris - so glad you liked the snipe shots so much :) Will get the hang of new camera soon - just been a bit lazy at the moment as its so much easier to pick up my other camera and change the lens as I know instinctively the settings and controls etc. etc. as I've had the dslr for years!