Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Greylake indeed!

After spending an hour or so watching the Spotted Crake, it looked like there was going to be more substantial rain than the drizzle I'd put up with so far (the forecast had been for dry and sunny weather!!!) so I thought I'd go and spend some time in the hide. On the whole I don't like birding from hides. I always feel like I'm likely to miss much of what is around me. This one however was quite a new one with decent sized windows which is always good for stumpy people like me!

There were some Common Snipe feeding reasonably close to the hide so even in the gloom, I was able to get some half decent photos. Common Snipe is an all year round resident bird in Britain, favouring marshes, bogs and damp meadows with short, dense vegetation. When seen up close their plumage is absolutely beautiful!As you can see in this photo below, if the Snipe had been more in that brown vegetation on the left, they would have been alot harder to pick up.As I left the hide the rain had eased off a bit. It was still drizzling, but I decided I wouldn't melt! (-: This family of cygnets were drifting along a weed covered rhyne.I don't know if the cygnets eat this stuff, but if so, it must be quite handy to have your dinner clinging to your body!It was a great couple of hours at this newish reserve on the Somerset Levels. Apparently it is great in winter for hunting Short-eared Owls and raptors. It will be on my list of places to visit again for sure.
On the way back home, as I was passing the famous Glastonbury Tor, I noticed that the sun briefly came out and was shining on this distinctive Somerset landmark which looked rather dramatic with a background of brooding grey rainclouds.

12 comments:

Quiet Paths said...

Wonderful shots despite the rainy conditions! That Snipe certainly has a bill or beak! I had no idea. There is something very cozy about a wetlands I think. Glad you spotted some favorite inhabitants.

Roy said...

Nice photos of the Snipe Jen. I know what you mean about Hides, they are restrictive generally, but on balance its the only place you are able to get close enough to a Snipe.
(Your not stumpy)

John said...

Jen,

The photo's of the Snipe are just wonderful, to think it was a Single Snipe that got me into Birding over 30 years ago....never tire of seeing them.

Great post about Greylake, a nice reserve, that comes into its own in the Winter months

John

Jenny said...

Hi Christine, I have to agree with you about wetlands, it's one of my favourite habitats. I also love the sights and sounds at esturaries.

Hi Roy, yes, hides do have their uses. You're right, I wouldn't have got so close to the Snipe otherwise. (I am too stumpy!) (-: Well a bit.....

Jenny said...

Hi John, I'd love to hear your story about Snipe getting you into birding. For me, it was a visit to Westhay NNR during a hard winter about 12 years ago. I'm certainly going to visit Greylake reserve many more times.

Eve said...

Great photos of the Snipe and Cygnets Jenny! I used to hear the Snipe at my old house. And no you're not stumpy....just vertically challenged!!

Jenny said...

Hi Evie, HAHA! Vertically challenged! I like it! (-:

Shelley said...

I love the snipes young beak! I especially enjoyed the close up of that precious cygnet!!

Chris said...

HI Jenny,
We do have the same weather here, rain, rain and rain.... Common snipe are also quite common here (although they will soon go back to Europe) but they are very hard to, first detect, and second get close too! You usually don't see them in the meadows and pfff, gone already!!! I only managed one good shot of them, and it was kindly posing on a post!!! So welld one on this one. The cygnet pictures in the small stream is beautiful!

Rural Rambler said...

Great series of photos Jenny. The snipe, that is one heck of a beaker. Another interesting bird for me to learn about. The Cygnet pictures are sweet. Glastonbury Tor, stunning picture enlarged. Awesome link.

Jenny said...

Hi Shelley, I agree with you, I think that close up cygnet is my fav photo.

Hi Chris, sorry you're getting so much rain too. As Roy said, if I hadn't been in a hide I wouldn't have got close enough to those snipe for photos.

Hi Pix, yes that is a stonker of a honker! (-: I should've told people to click on that Tor photo to enlarge, it is better when bigger.

Steve B said...

Love the snipe photos. This is not an easy species to capture.