I like the post as much as the bird
Yesterday, 27 June 2016, I made my usual drive SW of the city, mainly to check on the last pair of Mountain Bluebirds that I have been watching. The previous pair had already disappeared from their nest box after their babies had all fledged. I missed this, as I hadn't been able to fit in a drive over there. This time, I was hoping to see the final pair one more time, but when I arrived, there was no sign of either adult, so I guess they, too, have left. Always makes me sad when I know my days of photographing them has come to an end, at least for this year. At least their small neighbours, a pair of Savannah Sparrows, were still hanging around, and there were endless Red-winged Blackbirds everywhere I went.
There was no sign of any Bobolinks, either, and I was beginning to wonder if this was going to be one of those 'dreaded' trips where there was nothing to photograph. Thankfully, this Wilson's Snipe came out of hiding just when I was driving along the usual road. I'm always happy to see a Snipe - decided to take a more distant shot as a change from all the close photos that I tend to take. Love the fence post with its little tufts of lichens.
"These plump, long-billed birds are among the most widespread shorebirds in North America. They can be tough to see thanks to their cryptic brown and buff coloration and secretive nature. But in summer they often stand on fence posts or take to the sky with a fast, zigzagging flight and an unusual “winnowing” sound made with the tail." From AllAboutBirds.
"Wilson's Snipe (Gallinago delicata) is a small, stocky shorebird. This species was considered to be a subspecies of the Common Snipe (G. gallinago) until 2003 when it was given its own species status. Wilson's Snipe differs from the latter species in having a narrower white trailing edge to the wings, and eight pairs of tail feathers instead of the typical seven of the Common Snipe. Its common name commemorates the American ornithologist Alexander Wilson." From Wikipedia.
According to Fisher and Acorn's book, "Birds of Alberta", "the common Snipe is both secretive and well camouflaged, so few people notice it until it flushes suddenly from a nearby grassy tussock. As soon as the Snipe takes to the air, it performs a series of quick zigzags - an evasive maneuver designed to confuse predators. Because of this habit, Snipes were among the most difficult birds to shoot (in the days when shorebirds were hunted for sport), and skilled sportsmen were known as "snipers" - a term later adopted by the military."