Monday, December 18, 2017

Jack Snipe San Felipe

Saturday afternoon Trevor and I had a few hour spare and decided to check out our local area, Santa Pola Salina, El, Pinet, San Felipe, and surrounding areas. The weather was sunny and warm, our first stop produced good numbers of Shovelers, Pochard, Slender-billed Gulls, a single Marsh Harrier, and a pair Black-necked Grebe, and a lesser black-backed gull… for only 5 minutes from my Casa and a 10 minute stop, it was good to start.

Slender-billed Gull
On to the Salt Tower for a scan around, Marsh Harriers in the distance, Redshank, Dunlin, Great white Egret drifted past. Quickly on to the standing stones lay-by, a really close flypast of 6 Spoonbill showing well there large, flat, spatulate bill and of course, the camera was in the car. ( I've got to stop doing that and be more prepared ) Trevor said what a treat to see them so close and see the yellow under the chin,  On the water, there was several Great-crested Grebe, and further away from another  'canteen Of spoonbills (30+ ) a flypast of a Great White Egret. I had to take my jacket off as it was to hot, balmy weather, only a few days before Christmas.
El Pinet was looking quiet, Avocets bobbin up and down, noisy Black-winged Stilts, Dunlin, Kentish Plover, Redshank. A rather nice Water Rail showed close by on the water edge, car keys please "Trev" of course the camera is in the car, Sh*t missed the best chance, when the Rail was at it's closest and in the sun but managed a recorded shot, it was turning out to be a good few houses out.

Water Rail 
San Felipe, now having been here recently myself and read a fresh report that there nothing much happing, I decided not to take the camera. "Big mistake"  Purple Swamp Hens slowly walking about taking no notice just ambling around, Red-knobbed Coots showing well, Red-crested Pochard, a few Common Snipe flying around and tucked in on the muddy margins, clockwork Blue throats running around a few Waterpipits
flitting about, Booted Eagle over and a Dark faze, 100 + Glossy Ibis over, you could clearly hear the wing beats - noise as there went on there way, a bit of a birding moment.

Blue Throat
Suddenly my attention was grabbed by a small white-sided wader drilling in the mud I knew before my binoculars got to my eyes what it was, I shouted to Trev, "Jack Snipe" we quickly put the scope on it to confirm the ID, and off like a rocket! like Usain Bolt back to the ******* car for my camera, cursing all the ****** way there and back my stupid decision making. I arrived back, I shouted is it still THERE! "No" Trev replied but you should have been here 30 seconds ago it was right in the open, its gone now!! he said!  ( I think Usain Bolt would have been proud of me as I set a new World Recored for the car and back )  more bad language followed, followed by more, now there a bit of history about this bird "Jack Snipe." Trev and I have been searching for many winters with no success and just bad luck not connecting with it, although not a mega! ( although it feels like ) its a Spanish tick for both of us. The Jack Snipe did re-emerge and I got a record photograph but it was more than three times the distance away. I managed a few photographs on our way back to the car.

Common Snipe

I can't complain it was good afternoon out birding with Trevor, as we left San Felip we found where the Glossy Ibis had gone, a flooded field across the road, with 70 Lapwing, Plenty of Jackdaw, loads Cattle Egret,  Waterpipt,   White wags, Bluethroat, couldn't stay long, just scanned through the field, sun had almost set, we set for home,

Jack Snipe

Just wishing all my friends far and wide a very Merry Christmas

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