Thursday, 13 October 2016

Wilson's Snipe (Bécassine de Wilson)

Ellacott Lookout
Cambridge, ON
13 October 2016

     Miriam had to go into Cambridge to pick up a blade for one of her fabric cutters so we decided to go together and check out the bird life at Ellacott Lookout afterwards.    

The Speed River from Ellacott Lookout

     We were very happy to locate four Wilson's Snipe Gallinago delicata feeding at some distance from the shore, along with five Killdeer Charadrius vociferus. 



Wilson's Snipe

     These two species of shorebird, along with Dunlin Calidris alpina, are among the latest to migrate southwards through our area. Their numbers will peak towards the end of October and a few may still be seen into early November.

     The following shot, albeit from a distance, shows a snipe snagging prey in its long, flexible bill. 

     Today, at the rare Charitable Research Reserve, also in Cambridge, I saw this Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris at the edge of a hole in a tree.

    It begs the question as to whether this species is still breeding at this late date, or whether the bird was simply taking shelter in the cavity. I suspect the latter, because I observed the bird for almost fifteen minutes and it never left its position. I assume that if it still had young it would have left to gather food to bring back to the nestlings.

     I apologize for the poor quality of these images but the zoom on my Canon Powershot 50 is unable to do any better.   


  1. Dunlin are the only waders here too now.............

  2. Hi.
    Here in Finland starts to be all waders left. Winter is on its way.

  3. I enjoyed this post David, the quality of your blogs isn't just seeing good photographs, but for a major part the way you're sharing your knowledge.
    Gr Jan W

  4. Interesting species of snipe, I would have enjoyed a close up to see the differences wither snipes but as you say, one can only do with he or she has!!
    In any case I discover the existence of this species.
    Keep well and share warm hugs with Miriam :)

  5. Love this post and yes I always say the same thing wish with my camera I had a stronger lens but I really would not use it that often and I still do not understand my camera well enough!! Have a great weekend Diane

  6. Hi David, this looks a wonderful place to visit, you have got some super images of the Snipe, we were watching some on Monday, a lovely bird. Have a good week end. Regards to you both. John

  7. Hi David,
    What a great photo of the Snipe.
    Beautifully also the starling in tree cavity.
    Best regards, Irma

  8. Looks like you both had a good trip,love the Wilson's Snipe,fantastic bird.

  9. This does look a very nice place to visit and I enjoyed all your photo's.
    It was nice to see the bird peeping out to say hello in your last photo!

    Hope you are having a good weekend

    All the best Jan

  10. Don't apologise David. I don't mind looking at distant snipe. That's how I usually see them too. Hope you are out ringing this morning - no chance here it's peeing down.

  11. Hi David. Another informative post from you. Please don't apologize for the images. There's often as much valuable information in an image which shows the environment, as there is in a detailed portrait shot of a bird - something that I am guilty of forgetting with most of my photography!

    You had me checking Sibley with your snipe - you spoke of Wilson's Snipe in the text, but stated Common Snipe in the caption. Do I pass the 'observation test'? I suspect that your mind was overseas with the 'Common Snipe'?

    Love to you both - - Richard

    1. Thanks for spotting that, Hawkeye!
      I will change it right away.

  12. Brilliant Snipes, shame it wasn't really close.

  13. Funny I do not remember responding to this blog or not. Oh well better late than never. This looks like a wonderful place fot birding. Lovely photos as Always.