A quick field sketch of a Wilson's Snipe
I love these strange birds with the long bills. When they flush they burst up with a raspy squawk. I think I’d like to spend a couple hours in that meadow just being very quiet and still, waiting for one to return to the flush area. I could put down a little blanket, hunker down in the weeds, and just listen and wait (did an image of Linus and the Great Pumpkin just pop into your head...because it did mine...).
A Little Beak Bit
Here are some interesting tid-bits on the Wilson’s Snipe taken directly from The Birds of North America Online:
The name “snipe” is derived from “snite,” a variant of “snout,” and refers to the long bill of the bird. The French and Spanish names are derived from bec, “beak.” The snipe’s long beak has sensory pits near the tip, a character shared with other sandpipers, which help individuals detect prey as they probe in mud for small invertebrates. The eyes of the snipe are set remarkably far back on its head, providing full vision to both sides and a binocular overlap to the rear. This arrangement enables a bird to detect the approach of a predator while its beak is fully buried in the substrate.Since we were in a marshy meadow, Meadowlarks were all around. At first I could just hear them calling back and forth, but soon one popped into view. He was pretty far away, so the photos aren’t the best, but you can see his deep yellow and black bib.
We had a lot of fun. We stayed at the top part of VOA park (the small ponds and wetland that borders Tylersville Rd...right next to the monstrous strip mall). Amazing something so beautiful nests so close to a heavily congested area.