Ok, so quick apology first. In the last installment of my blog, I said my next post would be a duck-tacular, and it quite clearly is not. This post is in-fact about just one particular bird, the Snipe.
Snipe are a fairly regular siting at the London Wetland Centre - though by no means an easy one! They are lovely little waders, with a long beak and fantastic camoflague. You can often see one or two from the WWF and Wader Scrape hides, but it takes a little while to get your eye in and pick them out between the reeds. Consider the picture below practise!
So why has this humble little bird caused me to shun my ducks? Well, any regular visitors to the Wetland Centre will have experienced what may as well be called the "Snipe Effect." Sitting in a hide, all will be quiet (well, excusing the periodic firing of my camera shutter... sorry to all those silent binocular users out there...), quiet that is until a Snipe potters around a bank and into view.
"LOOOOOOK! ITS A SNIPE!" is the frenzied whispering that then spreads from watcher to watcher and all will huddle about to get a view.
What the Snipe think of all this, I dont know. They always seem extremely serene, dipping around in the shallows. Whatever is going on out on the lake, coots beating everyone else up, geese honking or seagulls zipping about, the humble little snipe just bumbles around as if nothing in the world could cause him bother. Im sure there is a lesson for London in there somewhere...
So here is to the Snipe. A beautiful little bird and a real gem to spot to the London Wetland Centre. They are amber listed too, so it is great to see so many seeming to be so at home in our big city!
Until next time :)
All images © William Bermingham 2012