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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Soil Hill, Snipe day. Last light visit

                        NK pond, bird less today
                                 The desolate hill
                     The Herons favourite pond
                                 Stormy sunset
               Perfect Snow Bunting habitat
             Plenty of these bald gravel patches.

1500 hrs and up on Soil Hill in a freezing cold WNW>5 with blue skies but frequent heavy hail showers.
First bird was a cock Pheasant enjoying JLs seed so after sprinkling some Nyjer down I moved up the track slowly ready to take a pic of the Heron if it was in its usual spot.
It was but it saw me first and headed off towards the NK pond.
Immediately after, a Jack Snipe lifted from the right hand side of the track landing just above the left hand ridge before moving off again onto the west summit.
A check of the reed area flushed a Common Snipe which spiralled up high and headed towards the mast.
Strongly expecting a Snow Bunt in the conditions I did a full zig zag search of the west summit flushing 2 Meadow Pipits and 1 Skylark but no sign of the Common or Jack Snipe.
Whilst doing the same tactics on the east summit I flushed another 2 Common Snipe , which is unusual for that area and another 4 Meadow Pipits.
Nearing the SW corner of the east summit I stopped to take a pic of the sun going down when a small bird caught my eye flushed from not far in front of me and flying low above the track >N.
The bird was between the sun and me so was just a dark silhouette in the bins but in the few seconds I had it in view I could see that it was a Bunting type sp. and not a Mipit or Lark.
It was stubby bodied and a small rounded head and blunt bill with a longish tail.
I,d put this down to Reed Bunt , which would be unusual in that area, Snow Bunt or Twite  .
It was lost from view as it flew below the mounds but looked to drop down in that area.
I had a quick, half hearted attempt to re locate it but the light was now almost gone and another hailstorm came to give me a battering so its down to the weekday lads now to see if they can turn anything up.
BS

3 comments:

Bradshaw Rambler said...

A good blog there Bri.
Twite would be good!
Hope you had your longjohns on up there this aft. it was cold earlier.
John.

p.s.
Sue's using those swear words "Christmas shopping" so not sure how next week will pan out.

Brian Sumner . said...

Icy wind up there tonight John and a white Queensbury tonight.
Too cold for christmas shopping, better going birding. Have a good week

Dave Sutcliffe said...

Birding is by far the better choice but it's difficult not to get caught up with other things. !!! That Lbj sounds interesting.