Queens Award for Voluntary Service

Record snipe count

This morning’s flush count yielded an amazing total of 119 snipe! The breakdown was: Big Meadow 78 common and 7 jack; School Pond 23 common; Upper Sowerholme 8 common and a further 3 common in the Hay Meadow.

It was strange to be cracking through ice as we plodded through the marshes. With School Pond frozen over, the teal were having to look elsewhere. We saw a group of 9 flying around and finally settling by Lucy’s Pool where there was some open water. That corner of the Hay Meadow again yielded a woodcock and another two were spotted in Upper Sowerholme, along with a heron. Jon noted a female sparrow hawk flying over Big Meadow and a kingfisher flying over the Hay Meadow, probably going away from the canal. There was a wren in the hedge between the Hay and Big Meadows and another wren in the Big Meadow marsh close to the old alder tree. To round things off nicely, a brown hare ran along the edge of the marsh close to the Pads path, heading north until it saw us and turned back in the direction of Flora.