Sunday, 15 September 2013

Great Expectations - updated with pics

Got a phone call off Ollie yesterday afternoon as I was half way round Waitrose doing my weekly shop, GREAT SNIPE at Spurn. Argh! Didn't bother with the last one at Spurn in 2010 as views sounded rubbish and I didn't have the time, and I was on holiday in 2011 when the bird was showing nicely in Norfolk but I knew I wouldn't have the time to get there before dark so just put it down to another that had got away. As it would happen news late in the evening was that it had flown off out of sight, so I made the right decision as wouldn't have got there in time. What were the chances of it sticking?

This morning at 0630 got another phone call from Ollie, the bird was showing well back in the same place so I headed straight across before it got busy. Within 5 minutes of getting there I was watching the bird (a 1st winter I think based on plumage) as it fed right out in the open and showing down to about 15 feet! I grabbed a quick record shot on my phone as it grabbed a quick 50 winks. Then headed off to get some tea with Tim.

After being suitably refreshed we headed back out to enjoy more views of this stunning bird where we met up with Ollie and Jono. The Great Snipe came right out into the open as it walked across some tarmac! The best view was lying on your belly looking under the gate. Got a couple of other record shots, nothing anywhere near as good as anyone with a camera, just a bit gutted I'd not charged my cameras battery up!

I think these were once in a lifetime views of Great Snipe, this bird even made the Wilson's Snipe on Scilly look skulky!! Ollie has very kindly allowed me to use his images (first three below), you'll notice the quality improve when I get to mine...

Great Snipe (Oliver Metcalf)

Great Snipe (Oliver Metcalf)

Great Snipe (Oliver Metcalf)

Great Snipe having 50 winks. ( AWBirder phone-binned)

The best view in the house.

Great Snipe - side (AWBirder phone-scoped)

Great Snipe - backside (AWBirder phone-scoped)

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