First time back on patch in two months. I was on site within ten mins of arriving back home, so keen was I to catch up on two months lost patching. My walk up did not fill me with hope for grand return, featuring only Magpies and Carrion Crow. A robin in the small patch of trees was a patch year-tick so I considered that a minor victory. That was until I reached the top where I got both Curlew and Grey Heron to my patch year-list, both within a few seconds of each other.
I would have settled for that, but on the top things took a massive turn for the better. I was just rubbing my hands together at the prospect of being able to bird Soil Hill again when I flushed a bird from right next to me. It did not call. It had fantastic golden stripes on its back but it took me a fraction of a second to work out what that meant. JACK SNIPE. As soon as I worked it out I raised my bins to confirm what I had seen with the short bill, it was there. I next went for the camera to grab some kind of record shot, but the bird had already flown a long way towards the other side of the hill. I managed a few shots but the light had frustratingly not brought out the golden stripes, although the short bill is clearly visible.
I was absolutely buzzing after that. Jack Snipe is a yeartick for me, my first since 2014, and is my first two point species on PWC16. What a return to patch. I was thrilled to say the least.
I wandered over to where I had seen the snipe go down, over on the western side of the hill. I failed to get it again, but without any pools over that side I did not really know where to look for it. I did however add Meadow Pipit and Stock Dove to my patch yearlist. What an afternoon. What a return to patch.
Soil Hill: Magpie, Carrion Crow, Robin, Grey Heron, Curlew, Jack Snipe, Skylark, Stock Dove, Meadow Pipit, Mallard, Blackbird,