Sunday, March 27, 2011

Return Of Snipe To Portland Fairgrounds

For the last several years I've been able to find Wilson's Snipe near a skating pond at our local fairgrounds. The first time I saw them I wasn't quite sure what they were. They reminded me of a woodcock but there were differences. I usually find woodcock in a more wooded setting and the snipe's eyes don't protrude from their head the way a woodcock's do. They prefer open fields that are muddy and have tall grass for them to hide in. The snipe start show up near the skating pond around mid-March which is just about the time the ground thaws out. By late March or early April they reach peak numbers of about 24-50 birds.
- - I found this one early Saturday morning. At first it looked like a clump of dirt surrounded by grass as it stood perfectly still. It started to blink its eyes and take deeper breaths as the temperature warmed up. Shortly after this video, it flew to the other side of the pond and started probing for food. The return of Wilson's Snipe to the fairgrounds is another sign that spring has finally arrived.

8 comments:

Hilke Breder said...

Good to see a snipe! I have made frequent checks of a wetland area where I used to see them, but nothing so far. Nice video!

Ruth said...

I didn't know the Snipe and Woodcock were so similar. I saw one or the other last year but didn't get enough time to examine the eyes. It was in a wooded area near a tiny stream. I just assumed I had seen a Woodcock. They are so well camouflaged!

troutbirder said...

I don't know why but they've become very rare around here. Maybe all the tileing have something to do with it....

Larry said...

Hilke-Good luck-hope they return.

Ruth-if you saw it in the woods near a stream it probably was a woodcock.They sure do blend in.

troutbirder-Pepole report them around here when they find them. They're not rare but can be hard to find.

Frank said...

Masters of camouflage with their cryptic plumage Larry.

If you haven't already seen it I did a post on our Common Snipe very recently.
http://fabearlybirder.blogspot.com/2011/03/cryptic-plumage.html

Kathiesbirds said...

Sounds like I need to visit those fairgropunds next time I am in town! That's a wonderful picture!

Larry said...

Frank-I've been very slow in trying to keep up with blogs but I will have to check that post out soon-thanks.

Kathiebirds-Thanks-The fairgrounds and walk along the river is worthwhile.

Blogger said...

Interesting pictur

bella foto, i beccacini sono uccelli particolari