14 February 2015

Jack Snipe encounters and patch ticks: 14 February

The highlight of an afternoon and evening session at the patch today was 7 Jack Snipe on Staines Moor, one bird in particular giving incredibly close views! Fascinating to watch their behaviour and take in the detail.

1 of at least 7 Jack Snipe seen today - I watched this bird for 45 minutes at a range of about a metre

Typical crouching behaviour

Views were ridiculous today - I even managed to photobomb this pic (check out the reflection in the eye - click to enlarge)

Also noted on Staines Moor: 2 (1m, 1f) Goosander over NW before dropping onto Wraysbury Reservoir, 2(1H) Water Pipit along the Colne, 3(1+m, 2f) Stonechat, 1 Cetti's Warbler (seen very poorly along Bonehead Ditch), 1 Little Egret, 5 Fieldfare, 3 Little Grebe, 7 Meadow Pipit, 1 Sparrowhawk, 11 Linnet, 10 Pied Wagtail over N at dusk going to roost, and 2 Common Teal.

A few hours night-birding finally produced 1-2 very vocal Tawny Owl along Bonehead Ditch (sadly heard only) - a patch tick and just the 4th record for Staines Moor, 3+ Eurasian Woodcock (NE corner and east side), 1 Little Owl around the anthills in the NE corner, 11(9H) Common Snipe, 1 Jack Snipe (probably one the same birds as earlier), and a surprise Roe Deer Capreolus capreolus in the NE corner (patch tick).

Stanwell Moor added another Tawny Owl (heard) at night and a Water Rail heard from Bonehead Ditch.


  1. Very interesting article Lee. Spent 2 hours on SM on 17/2 noting 5+ Skylark, 5 Water Pipit, 1 pr Stonechat and 1 Common Snipe, but sadly no JS. Do you co-ordinate SM records, if not who?

    1. Hi Martin, Many thanks. I do not coordinate Staines Moor records, although being my patch I am very interested in what is found there. Records from Staines Moor are recorded by the London Bird Club and should be sent to the Middlesex recorder Sean Huggins - contact details are on the London Natural History Society website: http://www.lnhs.org.uk/ornithology1.htm

  2. Hi Lee,
    I enjoyed your photos very much.
    Took a look around on Staines Moor on 4th March. No luck with JS. Are they still around? I hope to get another chance to visit later in the month.

    1. Hi Simon, Many thanks. I haven't been back to the moor since this visit so can't say if any Jack Snipe are still around. Best of luck if you try again. Lee