Monday, 10 November 2014

When will we find the illusive Jack Snipe?

Tuesday 11 November

John and Jenny Wainwright took off to the fields in and around Huetor Tajar yesterday and, like the ABS field visit on Saturday, also failed to find the wintering jack Snipe.  But we know the little rascal is somewhere in the area so, no doubt we will all be back for another effort well before Christmas.  For me, and possible John and Jenny, a first in Spain when we eventually succeed.

Huetor Tajar: Monday 10 November

A bright but very fresh day, until the afternoon when it warmed up considerably.

After getting the brakes fixed and having a word with Mick Richardson about the Jack Snipe, we ventured down to the said area.  Lots of Chiffchaffs, House & Tree Sparrows about as we entered the track. After parking we walked up and down the ditch, putting up enroute a Common Snipe and a Green Sandpiper. The trees round the first house on the left were full of House Sparrows, Black Redstarts, Sardinian Warblers and Goldfinches.

Hoopoe Upupa epos (PHOTO: John Wainwright)
We drove from there to the newly excavated stream where very little bar a couple of Grey Wagtails, more Chiffchaffs and Meadow pipits were seen.  Back round to the main arroyo and here in the poplar copses scores of Azure-winged Magpies were seen. Having our backs to a copse and looking out onto a small garden area we found Serins, Hoopoes, Tree Sparrows, House Sparrows, Black Redstarts, Stonechats, Crested Larks and White Wagtails. In the copse to our rear we had Greater Spotted Woodpecker, more Azure-winged Magpies, Blackbirds, Song and Mistle Thrushes, Wood Pigeons and Blackcaps.

On the fields surrounding this area we saw Cattle Egrets, Collared Doves, Spotless Starlings, Meadow Pipits and again the inimitable White Wagtails.

Water Pipit Anthus spinoletta (PHOTO: John Wainwright)
Moving over to the Ajo factory fields we found a few Stone Curlews and good flocks of Lapwings.
Around in a big circle and back to the Jack Snipe area, a splash of red in the reedbed gave us a group of ten to fifteen Common Waxbills, these were feeding in and around the small bushes to the right of the reed bed. Another darkish bird landed in the reeds here and after turning to face us gave us our Bluethroat of the day. Lots more House and Tree Sparrows here as well as Meadow Pipits and White Wagtails, while in the ditch area a Cetti´s Warbler serenaded us.  Over the reed bed a pair of Common Kestrels were quartering and then a whoosh and a male Merlin flashed past us after a Meadow Pipit, and as he passed over the meadows, another flock of Lapwings took off.

Common Waxbill Estrilda astrild (PHOTO: John Wainwright)

Shame about the Jack Snipe but still some lovely observations.

Check out the accompanying website at for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information.

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