Sniping from the water’s edge

I wouldn’t have known it was there unless someone had pointed it out to me. Even then I couldn’t see it until I put my telephoto lens on it.

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

It’s a Snipe on the water’s edge.

I see very few Snipe. That may be more to do with my eyesight than it is to do with how common they actually are. This is more like it:

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

Snipe have a very distinctive habit of flying away in the most erratic way possible. They zig-zag with monstrous effort. Surely it must be an anti-predator device? Then I think, maybe the predator is us. Maybe they never used to zig-zag away but only the crazy ones survived those gunshots which travel in straight lines. The more extreme the flight, the greater the chances of survival. What do you think?

At home I’m leafing through Consult Me For all You Want to Know, published in 1883 and come across this:

Snipe Pie from Consult Me For all You Want to Know

Maybe my thought that they’re trying to avoid being shot isn’t too radical an idea after all.

Over forty years ago I drew a Snipe in my childhood nature notebooks:

If only I could get a view as clear as that one now.

And not in a pie.

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