Friday, April 8, 2011

Snipe hunt

When I was in Cub Scouts, the Cubmasters and Den Leaders took us on a Snipe Hunt one evening at camp. The adults played up the mystery of the snipe and kept warning us to look for them. Well, we never really saw anything--I think we wound up at a bonfire or something--and eventually someone said there's no such thing as a snipe.

This isn't true, of course, and really the traditional Snipe Hunt seems a missed opportunity for ornithological education. Wilson's snipe is a medium-sized shorebird that frequents mudflats, fluddles and wet meadows. I hadn't seen one for years until last weekend. It was in a fairly unusual place at Montrose--the lawn north of the Magic Hedge. Even on the green grass, the snipe's plumage blended in amazingly well. We had a few good looks at it before it flitted off, and we declared our snipe hunt a success.

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