Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Porthellick - Wilson's candidate no 1

There was only one bird on the islands today which was a potential tick for me - a probable Wilson's Snipe seen at Porthellick. This became the mission for the morning (or day if necessary), see it, get images and then hope they help in nailing one of the more tricky IDs in birding!

No time for words, just an assortment of images which have gone forward to Bob Flood / Ash Fisher and James Lidster hopefully to get back with opinions?

The probable Wilson's was immediately obvious due to the cold greyish appearance and dark scapulars, much more so in the field than these images portray.

The jizz was also radically different. It was behaving in exactly the same manner a Jack Snipe would. Constantly bobbing and often hunkering down!

Lots of wind stretching and tail fanning in evidence but it was very difficult to see the outermost tail feather!

And wing flaps invariably head on didn't help!

Now a side on chance?

Eventually I got the view I wanted! This image with the raised wing shows quite nicely the narrow white tips to the secondaries which create a white hook like pattern.

Martin Goodey produced this composite image... Image no 1 is a proven Wilson's Snipe, image no 2 is my image from above, flipped to face the same way and image 3 is the pattern of a Common Snipe which is totally different.

Paul Steventon, also in the hide this morning got this image of the spread tail detail. The right hand (as we look at it) outer tail feather has 4 black bars, as broad as the white...

Michael Schmitz has kindly sent me another image showing the outermost tail feather in the folder tail (again four black bars, same width as the white)

It's a Wilson's for me...

BUT to the best of my knowledge this bird (I'm referring to it as Wilson's no 1) hasn't been seen since the 11th?? A second Wilson's contender has been seen since. The plumage and jizz is different.. I'll try and get some images of this taken on the 16th uploaded soon?