Posted by: atowhee | February 8, 2008

Snipe snapshot waiting to happen


This Snipe picture was taken in California’s Central Valley by David Assman.

The picture above is typical of the view you usually get of a Snipe if you’re really lucky.  One or more will be in some wetr meadow full of dense grass and weeds.  Today I got clos-up anbd clear looks at several feeding Snipe…and one sleeper.  I have no proof because I didn’t have a camera.   This small flock was in a wet horse pasture along Valley View Road between Ashland and Talent, Oregon.  I pulled off the road to check the ducks at the bottom of the field where the water was several inches deep.  First I saw a couple Killdeer trotting away from the road.  Then I realized the brown and yellow stripes moving about were Snipe backs.   One was less than twelve feet from my car.   None of them seemed to care that I was parked nearby.  One sleeping snipe opened a droopy eyelid to check out the intruder, then went back to sleep.  The long beak was never unsheathed from its feathery cover.

Any photog want to go on a great Snipe hunt?  The pasture’s just north of the house at 1100 Valley View, east of I-5.  It’s between the freeway and Valley View.  I’ve been seeing those ducks for weeks along the northbound lanes, glad I finally thought to get a closer look.

 Wilson’s Snipe are secretive but common year-round residents of the Rogue Valley lowlands.

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