Posted by: atowhee | January 8, 2017

SNIPE HUNT IN THE RAIN

One thing about having a big, energetic dog.  You get out for walks in all kinds of weather. It has been raining all day, ice or slush cover nearly every surface.  The temp never got above 34. Smart people with contented dogs are inside with a book to read.  Cat people can eschew all mandatory walks. The residue of the population today is in front of some football game on the big screen.  Even the stores are nearly empty.  But I was out in Wortman Park in mid-afternoon after an emergency run to the grocery.  I expected no birds…but binocs–never leave home without ’em.  Rain was persistent, cold, just adding water to an already flooded ice field.  While still in the slush-choked parking lot I looked out the car window and saw an Anna’s Hummingbird perusing the bark of a nearby conifer, hoping for spider’s eggs perhaps.

Dog and I walked about twenty yards and a Ruby-crowned Kinglet flew past to land on an iced limb.  Down by the small creek, which is at near flood stage but still only three feet wide, first one and then another Wilson’s Snipe lifted off from the narrow border of green grass along the stream edge.   With most marsh land frozen over right now this is the second time in three days I have found snipe along a small stream. They need thawed mud to feed with their probing beak.

Wortman Park, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Jan 8, 2017 2:40 PM – 2:55 PM
Comments:     rain and cold. 4 species

Wilson’s Snipe (Gallinago delicata)  2
Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna)  1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula)  1
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X

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