Monday, 23 May 2016

The Elusive Snipe

A post from The Raptor

On the marsh land opposite The Raptor's abode, in the gloaming of the evening comes the eerie sound from the sky of a strange elusive creature not to been seen by the human eye! What is this strange creature that has us all staring up into the darkening skies and pointing at, well, nothing?  It is the ever elusive snipe (common). They like the damp marshy ground for building a nest made by the male. It also helps to keep them hidden until one suddenly flushes up from what seems to be right under your next step, and off they go darting in zig-zag away into the distance.  This bird lives here all year and we have a good population of them. They are sometimes confused with the woodcock, which although here all year is more a winter bird.  One evening I managed to catch a pair of these elusive birds in flight, both of hem displaying with high flights then dropping and creating that eerie sound, which comes from two hard outer tail feathers rubbing together to create the 'drumming.' I thought only the male drummed but the female does it too.  So the next time you are out near the low lying marshy areas have a listen for the eerie sounds that seem to be coming out of the sky.


  1. I found this post when looking up 'snipe' after watching Chris Packham with the tailfeathers on Springwatch last night. We camped at Ardnamurchan late Spring three years ago for several nights and heard snipe every night - it was extraordinary and wonderful, we didn't know what the sound was till we got back and looked it up.

  2. Yes, saw it too and found it very interesting. The Raptor did well to get these photographs. Jon