Sunday, March 4, 2018

The beauty in the Beast #4 - Snipe

There are many Common Snipe here in the Filey recording area presently, and they are, of course, an absolute joy - how many more simultaneously stunning, characterful and absurd species are there out there? - and most remain skillfully undetected. But having spent many a bone-chilling, hide-rattling hour at the Dams and elsewhere over recent days, I've watched dozens disappear into frozen aquatic vegetation in an instant, and others feed or snooze in tight packs within snow covered tangles just a few metres away.

Having spent a couple of particularly enjoyable but extremity-challenging hours counting cold-weather movements at the Dams the other day, I was resigned to the group of Snipe near the hide successfully outwitting me and the camera - so close, but always behind strands and blades. And then this bird dropped onto the ice right in front of me... and after a second or two of mutual shock, we both relaxed, and I got to fire many shots off as the bird not only posed beautifully, but at one point spread its tail, Peacock fashion, in response to squabbling Teal nearby.

Up at a deeply frozen Carr Naze Pond, meanwhile, there are plenty more to be found..... how many in this picture?