Friday, October 1, 2010

An odd bird in the yard

For some time I've wanted to write something about our encounters with Wilson's Snipe. We see them regularly in migration and, more interestingly, in the middle of winter. Indeed one or two individuals have been tallied on six of the last eight Christmas bird counts. Evidently these birds find sufficient food and shelter along a small, densely vegetated creek in Peninsula Harbour, not far from the mill. The phenomenon of snipe overwintering in northern Ontario is so unusual that the regional compiler of the CBC simply didn't believe the first report back in 2002.
Until today I had put off profiling our ice snipe as I had yet to get a decent photo of one. Just about all of our snipe sightings involve brief views of fast-flying birds we've flushed.

This morning, I looked out our kitchen window expecting to see the usual Rusty Blackbirds, Common Grackles and White-crowned Sparrows, and I the company of a Wilson's Snipe! The bird was fairly active, foraging over a patch of turf where I had been scattering mixed seed - not acceptable snipe fare, evidently.

Certainly an unusual bird to observe from one's kitchen window.

1 comment:

  1. Nice...Although that left leg does not look so good...