So a trip to the patch was calling after a week and a half out due to a Cold. As I approached I spoke to James ( birdsandbeer) who told me he had a Jack Snipe and where. I decided to put the wellies on and brave the flooded marsh to get a chance of one. They are probably regular winter visitors here but it's just being able to get lucky. Any way I made my way round to the cattle pen and picked up a pair of a Meadow Pipits and a calling Cettis. All seemed quiet accept for the singing Great tits from what seemed every tree & bush! As I got towards the marsh I was drawn to the tree above the kissing gate. As I approached a call that I couldn't quite see where was coming from. As I got beneath , it appeared and while flying overhead , still calling a stunning Merlin ! Wow a proper stunner, and with the blue sky shining upon it I got to see all the features. I hadn't seen one of these crackers for two years until I had one up on the coast last month but to see one here on the patch.... Pukka. I watched as it made its way towards Whitlingham and immediately let James know. I was buzzing so now turned my attention back towards the flooded marsh.
I got half way across and had out 11 x common Snipe up and then a silent, straight flying & short billed snipe. It dropped down quickly but have enough views to confirm it was a Jack . Also shortly after another which took off all together and out of sight. A total of 20+ common Snipe were seen and a low flying Grey Heron too as I got to bungalow lane. Now in the past I turn back towards the broad but I was having such a great time of it I thought I would top the morning off with favourite bird, the Bullfinch! As I walked along I noticed these two chaps?
Very unusual to see these here but obviously someone's much beloved friends! I checked for Woodpeckers and Treecreepers as I went but no sighting this time. I got the spot where I usually see my Bullies. It was all of 30 seconds before I heard there piping. 2x females & and stunning male. I followed them as they made there way along and picked up a Kestrel as I went.
Then I popped into a small wooded area and flushed up a Woodcock, it just gets better I thought! ( at this point I made a note to my self " get yourself a lotto ticket shaky, your lucks in"!). Now I decided the broad was calling and a quick walk back . Plenty of gulls and wildfowl but I had just seen a Merlin, bullfinch, woodcock and Jack snipe... this broad was looking very naff in comparison so off to work I went.
A superb mornings work , with 2 x patch ticks with Merlin & Jack Snipe bringing my patch list up to 104!