I’ve never had a good view of a Snipe before. This time it’s different. We’re in a south-of-London park with a kind local naturalist who’s agreed to show us all that these three hectares have to give. I can’t quite believe we’re so close that we’re getting fabulous views of its feeding behaviour and its defensive/aggressive posture towards any unwary Moorhens which come too close.

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

Their disruptive camouflage is extraordinary. Even when the Snipe bobs up and down and moves forwards it’s still tricky to notice. It can be close, and you can point straight at it, and the other person still won’t be able to see it (for clarity, the ‘other person’ was me).

Here’s my childhood nature notebook pencil crayon drawing of a Snipe from when I was 13.

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

I definitely didn’t have the right colour of brown, but I got the orangey feathers on the tail right.

Here’s my blog about it:

How wonderful to experience it so close. I didn’t know they had green legs, either.

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


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