Snipe – forty years ago in my nature notebooks

Forty years ago I drew a Snipe. I was 13 years old and probably copied it out of a book I borrowed from the local library. I was very pleased with it at the time.

Snipe - The Hall of Einar - (c) David Bailey (not the)

Today I’m out at an RSPB nature reserve in Somerset called Greylake. It’s aptly named.

Greylake - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Somerset is called Somerset because it was only inhabitable in Summer and the rest of the year it was flooded. Draining, or attempting to drain, the land has resulted in the loss of fabulous habitat. People campaign against the loss of tropical rainforest in other countries yet are unaware that we’ve already destroyed our own forests and our own wetlands. Here the RSPB is doing something to bring a small amount of that habitat back and it’s full of overwintering wildfowl. There are beautiful delicate Teal and robust Wigeon. There’s also a Snipe hiding in the muddy field.

Snipe - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

It’s beautifully camouflaged but I can see it probing with its sewing-machine action in the wet mud.

Snipe - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Fabulous.

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Lone Tree - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Lone tree

It was foggy.

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Seaweed - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Low tide

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