So the Spurn Great Snipe was killed last night. A sad end for a wonderful bird. I wonder how many of us ever thought we’d see a Great Snipe that well? I know I didn’t.
Great Snipe is one of those birds you expect to see as the result of an organised flush or if you see one yourself… not running towards birders. Its passing brings another Snipe twitch to mind – the Great Fazakerley Snipe Hoax.
Now I know there are quite a few listers who ticked this bird and I challenge them now… scan your original fieldnotes and post them here – NOW! We can create a file and submit it to the BBRC.
See I went to see the bird with one of Britain’s top listers and right from the start I knew this was all rubbish. We arrived on site and the ‘finders,’ who had arranged to meet this top lister and escort him were nowhere to be seen. Undaunted we checked out the site, made a few phone calls and went back to the car. A while later the ‘finders’ arrived from off the site and told us we’d just missed the Little Bunting. Our top lister at this point privately thought they were lying – I was a bit more open.
Anyway, they took us in a no we never found a Great Snipe or a Little Bunting. We tried again later to no avail. Our top lister was now openly rubbishing the record and questioning the credibility of those who had seen it the day before (a Sunday).
Funny how a few months later – after a Siberian Thrush had been strung at the site another raft of gullible fools ‘ticked’ the Great Snipe.
Let us be clear, there was no Great Snipe, no Little Bunting and no Siberian Thrush. The whole sorry story is a blight on British birding. But as I said, send me your original fieldnotes and I’ll happily submit the record for you.