Home Forums Bird & Insect Sightings Snipe Flush Count at Fairfield Nature Reserve

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • Clio Graham
    Participant
    Post count: 2

    On the monthly Winter flush count on Fairfield Reserve yesterday in the rain, we counted 89 Snipe and 17 Jack Snipe in total over the wet meadows. Also observed was a hunting Sparrowhawk disturbed from the field where it had caught a Jack Snipe, identified by the freshly severed wings.

    Ian Chisnall
    Participant
    Post count: 3

    I would like to respectfully suggest (not with the aim of being contentious) that a “monthly flush” at this site will in my opinion result eventually in these birds deserting. This has happened in other places due to over-zealous but well-meaning ornithologists tracking Jacksnipe. The disturbance may well be excessive. Would one or maybe two ‘flushes’ at the most not be sufficient?

    Jean Roberts
    Participant
    Post count: 28

    Perhaps a list of the monthly counts would confirm or otherwise whether this is the case?
    Could you let us know the source of the Jack Snipe disturbance that you mention and how often the birds were flushed?
    At Ocean Edge saltmarsh there is a natural flush of Snipe on spring tides. This has been well-monitored over the years by one of the resident birders. He notes that on the second and third days of very high tides the Snipe counts go down (the birds relocate to Middleton NR and other areas) but the Jack Snipe stay tend to stay put. This suggests a daily “flush” has an adverse effect but perhaps not a monthly flush.

    Steve Bullen
    Participant
    Post count: 24

    Hi Ian,
    I appreciate your concern regarding the snipe count at Fairfield. The monthly snipe counts have been taking place since 2013.
    The site at Fairfield which produces the greatest numbers is Big Meadow. The biggest count in Big Meadow was over the 2019/2020 season when a total of 324 (incl. 34 Jack) were recorded. This season so far we’ve recorded 322 snipe (incl.38 Jack) in Big Meadow.
    We’ve noticed that the birds start flying back in before we’ve even left the field.
    The rest of the time the field is left totally undisturbed other than for the occasional grazing by cattle.
    We’ve recently been discussing the importance of this site for wintering snipe with regards to its management – to maintain and hopefully increase wintering snipe numbers.
    Steve

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.