For good reasons, many birds are secretive. Bittern are famous for it. Bearded tit and water rail seem to go either way – either incredibly shy or surprisingly bold. If you’ve visited Old Moor and seen any of those three, count yourself lucky.

But if there’s one bird – and a regular at Old Moor – that takes the biscuit for being hard to spot it’s the jack snipe.

Here is today’s summary of sightings….

So, when Jeff Wragg tweeted that there was a jack snipe at the end of the channel in front of the Reedbed Screen today, many visitors headed that way to try their luck.

Jeff was cutting a swathe through the reeds when he saw the bird so that now there is a broad strip of stubble beside the channel. This is ideal for spotting birds like rail, bittern and snipe as they navigate from one reedbed to another.

Sadly, I didn’t hear of any further reports of the jack snipe nor meet anyone at the Reedbed Screen who’d seen it this afternoon. Yet these small snipe – once they’ve found a good area to feed – tend not to stray too far from it.

So, if you happen to be visiting Old Moor tomorrow, I’d recommend a trip to the screen. You could get lucky and find something like this…

The last jack snipe (for visitors) in November 2017, from Ian Morris. Thanks again Ian.

OR you might just have to make do with bearded tit, Cetti’s warbler, kingfisher and possibly a bittern. But then that’s not too much of a hardship is it?

Until next time.

  • Lovely weather today down in the reedbeds today but sadly, I didn’t get a glimpse of any of those elusive residents! However, I was struck how very smart the drake teal were looking in the strong afternoon crosslight. The gadwall in front of the Reedbed Hide are looking pretty dapper too.