September was very much a staying local month, covering a small stretch of my old patch at Ogura. Mainly because I didn't have the time to do otherwise, and not seeing that much for my efforts if truth be told. I've seen some quite spectacular wader passages here over the years but 2022 won't be going down as one to remember.
I covered a relatively small part of the overall area on nine dates through the month, seeing snipe other than Common on eight of them; this after making several visits throughout August when no migrant snipe were recorded. Actually, my first non-Common snipe were two birds (probably Swinhoe's) in Mie on 2 Sept though I had already seen a party of three Latham's there in August.
As far as confirming ID was concerned, all the following birds were 'tail-checked'. I saw a total of six Latham's, four Swinhoe's, one probable Pintail and a few swintail. As I only covered a relatively small area, it's reasonable to infer numbers passing through would have been much greater. There were also many Common, up to 10 per visit but even these disappeared in October suggesting all were migrants rather than birds that will winter here.
(5 Aug - three adults together)
(8 Sept - two adults together)
(20 Sept - single adult)
(21 Sept) Flushed by a Siberian weasel soon after I found it. I already suspected this could prove to be a Pintail and this image taken just before it takes flight appears to show pins in the spread tail. The weasel's ears are visible in the grass just to the left of the tail.
(28 Sept) The only juvenile/first winter.
(28 Sept) Adult
(20 Sept) They did exist!
Finally, I can't resist throwing this in just because it has 'snipe' in the name. These are local breeders and there were males with tiny chicks running round in September.
|Greater Painted Snipe|