Taken on 05/09/2010
Snipe dilemma: I went out Snipe-hunting today with my Japanese mentor (a veteran local from this area of Ibaraki). We saw several different individuals of at least two species, but I still have immense difficulty ID-ing these birds specificially. This is (according to my mentor) Swinhoe's Snipe, differentiated from Common by bill length and colour, overall paler tone to the lighter feathers, continuous edging of buff round the mantle/scapular feathers, thickness of eyestripe and shape of head. Swinhoe's also tends to flush lower and quieter than Common (we experienced this today), and - in Ibaraki at least - tends to prefer dryer areas. Still very, very tricky though. Now I know why the Victorians used to shoot the b*ggers! (just joking.... :-) ) Comments welcome!
Canon 300mm f2.8 + 1.4x Extender.