This Christmas holiday I was lucky enough (thanks to some Melton Mowbray Pork Pie and Cropwell Bishop Stilton bribes) to spend some time with Chris, SNRG's "Lone Sniper".
We were hoping to catch some Snipe and Woodcock over on the fields surrounding the A52 pit at Holme Pierrepont one evening as they come in at dusk to feed, but due to the ground being so hard and dry (still!) and the blustery winds we decided to give it a go over near the Grange pit one early morning before dawn. This time we hoped to catch birds coming off the fields to roost in the reedbeds as the sun came up.
Unfortunately many of the birds either flew straight over us or avoided the nets and took cover right at the back of the reedbeds amongst the calling Water Rail and noisy Coots.
However, we didn't go home disappointed as the early morning light gave us an opportunity to enjoy a few Blackbirds and three Teal which went in the nets, all male, two adult and one young bird. I thought readers of the blog may find my photographs interesting, in particular the tail and wing shots as it is pretty easy to see the contrast in feather colour, two generations, indicating a juvenile.
I'm hoping for some calm weather as after a recce of the A52 fields later that morning, we discovered many probe marks, wader poo and feathers, suggesting concentrations of birds in certain wetter areas of the site, so fingers crossed for some calm nights.