Thursday, 13 March 2014

Lepe Country Park 10th March 2014

I had a survey to do in the New Forest and having competed this faster than expected a quick trip to revisit the long staying Lesser Yellowlegs at Lepe Country Park was in order. The weather was superb with lovely sunny spells mixed with cloudy periods and the birds knew that spring was springing with bird song filling the air. The Lesser Yellowlegs was quick to show but as with my previous two visits to the site was always a little distant at the back of the pool at Stansore Point. This bird has been present at this site since the 10th November 2013 so this was its four month stay anniversary. It appears to be undergoing moult with its mantle and breast sides now showing blackish flecking and blotching displayed by summer plumaged birds.

Lesser Yellowlegs, Stansore Point - Simon Colenutt
Lesser Yellowlegs, Stansore Point (Simon Colenutt)

Amongst the assembled waders and wildfowl were approximately 25 snipe feeding within the denser areas of vegetation. However, I saw the three birds below feeding in the open and as I watched them two of the birds loosened their feathers, flattened their bodies and spread their tails to sunbath. I have never seen this behaviour before in snipe but they were clearly enjoying the sunshine.

Sunbathing Snipe, Stansore Point (Simon Colenutt)