Jack Snipe 1
Noctule Bat 2
An interesting couple of hours at Waterworks at lunchtime today in lovely warm, sunny conditions. On approaching the reserve from Hackney marshes I noticed something unusual flying over the pools. "That looks a bit like a Woodcock" I thought as I saw this thing; lifting the bins I realised immediately I was looking at a large bat! It was hawking for insects over the pools at heights varying between 40ft and 150ft, showing hirundine-like agility and even a few moves reminiscent of a Black Tern. After a minute or two it was joined by a second individual. They continued to feed in the area for the next 45 minutes. They were about the same wingspan as a Sanderling, with a rufous tinge to the fur and prominent ears clearly visible in flight. Having subsequently consulted a few good folk of the londonbirders yahoo group and some literature Iam pretty confident they were Noctule Bats, a species known to occur in the lower Lea valley in good numbers and known for their early Spring daylight forays. Something I've never seen before, and what a treat!!
On Bed 17 about 25 Snipe were visible and, after much searching, a Jack Snipe materialised out of the 'magic eye'-like pattern in front of me. Fantastic.
I wish I had discovered this bird myself but I have to 'fess up and say I was tipped off about it's presence by someone else!