Snipe & Woodcock

Snipe Chicks

A snipe chick being invisible
A snipe chick being invisible

The past few days have been extremely busy up on the hill, and my lack of activity online has been partly to do with many, many hours outdoors, stravaiging through the moss. Perhaps even more fundamentally, there has been no internet access in the house since a stunning thunderstorm struck on Tuesday night and lit the entire parish up with purple light. A long telephone call to Mumbai revealed that my internet will be restored this coming week, so I am getting by with brief visits to the Heather Trust office.

A huge amount has happened which is worth recording on this blog, but suffice it for now to include this picture of a snipe chick which I discovered yesterday while lugging a larsen trap over the hill on my back. The round larsens are the best traps you can buy, but they are not the most convenient to carry over long distances. As I laboured up the last 300 yards to the car, I almost stepped on a brood of three chocolate and brick red fuzzies in a wet gutter just as a shower came sweeping in from the Northeast. One of the chicks flopped down into the water (as above), but the other two made off over the moss with all the zest and fervour of Olympians. I quickly took some photographs, rounded them all up again and beat a hasty retreat back over the hill.

Seeing snipe chicks at such a young age was a first for me, and something I’ve always wanted to find on the hill. As the rain set in again, I hoped that the hen bird would quickly settle back down and dry them out. She flew round and round in circles chakking noisily until I was out of sight, and I have fingers crossed that this accidental discovery caused no harm.

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