Sunday, 5 July 2015

In a quiet marshy corner...

In a quiet marshy corner on the grassy valley floor, following up a report of a very smart little bird, we came to he edge of this puddle where a track crossed a boggy gully. As we got out of the truck, wondering where on earth we should begin to look, a bird shot up and disappeared across the field. Where it had flown up from we found someone with very long toes and a fine lang neb.

A totally gorgeous common snipe chick! Already it was well developed and it would be flying in only a matter of days. Can you see the patch of adult cheek feathers on it's otherwise juvenile head? And there were golden markings on it's back too - what a bonny bird. You often hear that distinctive 'drumming' that they do, flying round at height and marking their territories. Seeing the chicks of this otherwise very secretive bird is quite another matter and very special. After giving it it's own unique identifying metal BTO ring and taking biometrics we placed it back at the edge of the wet flush and left quickly to allow mum to come back and carry on her excellent work.