Friday, 2 January 2009

Rails, Snipes and Bitterns

I took a trip to the London Wetland Centre (or Stringsville as Josh and David would call it) just before the end of new year to try and get a lifer to end 2008.
I managed to get great distant views of a Jack Snipe...

Here is the Jack Snipes' big bro, the Common Snipe which was very abundant on the grazing marsh.

And a Bittern was a nice surprise (after 10 minutes trying to locate it!)....

I even found my own Water Rail (lifer). It gave amazing views just metres from me and eventually flew when a family came.

They have very long toes like their cousins, the Moorhen to help them spread their body weight over a wide area so they doesn't sink into mud etc. They are also great for clinging on to almost any surface.

Here is a young female Stonechat that was also present on the grazing marsh, foraging on the ground a lot of the time for worms...

What a great end to 2008!
Happy New Year to everyone at Young Birders
Billy D


Benjamin Young said...

Oooh, Billy, I'm green with envy! Bittern, Snipe AND better views of a Water Rail than I've ever had! AND in sunshine too! How lucky can you get? Seriously, well done.

Billy Dykes said...

Cheers Ben. Yeah, I couldn't believe it either. Amazing day in lovely weather!