News archive

October 2019

Thursday, 31 October 2019

October Bird of the Month - Jack Snipe

October Bird of the Month - Jack Snipe

The lifespan of the Jack Snipe is around nine years and the species is normally silent away from its nesting areas. Smaller and more compact than the Common Snipe, it is most active at dusk and dawn and is more likely to freeze rather than fly if it is disturbed during the day. It will however take off from the feet of an observer and land again nearby. It should be noted that the flight is straight and direct, unlike that of the snipe which has a zigzag flight path.

The Jack Snipe is a skulking but handsome bird with a bill which is much shorter than that of the snipe. It has a metallic green and purple sheen to its back and an all-dark crown with a bold buff stripe above the eye which is split at the rear. The dark back has four bright straw coloured stripes running along it.

Wintering birds regularly appear at traditional sites where they feed in shallow, wet and muddy areas with low vegetation. Several birds will feed close together on a variety of insects, worms, beetles, small snails and some plant material. When feeding or resting the jack snipe has a characteristic bobbing action, making it look like it is on a spring as it bounces up and down!

Sites where you can try to see this bird of the month include Dungeness RSPB reserve, Oare Marshes KWT reserve and Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory.

Click on the link to watch the BTO video with great ID tips to separate Common Snipe and Jack Snipe.

Sunday, 6 October 2019

Sunday 6 October - Guided walk at Sandwich Bay Observatory cancelled due to bad weather

We are sorry for any inconvenience caused.

Warren Mann

Leader, Medway Local Group