Aus Painted Snipe behaviour

Subject: Aus Painted Snipe behaviour
From: Phil & Sue Gregory <>
Date: Sat, 1 Oct 2011 17:07:32 +1000
> There was a male Australian Painted Snipe near Mareeba yesterday Sept 30, on 
> a property with three small dams two of which are quite well vegetated, the 
> third being smaller and devoid of aquatic vegetation. The bird has been there 
> over 2 weeks, and the unvegetated small dam is where the bird was yesterday, 
> sat beside a dead branch and clearly in some kind of disguise posture as the 
> body was inclined forward at 45 degrees, with the rear end angled up and the 
> breast feathers actually immersed in the water, as was the tip of the bill. 
> When we first found the bird the breast and bill were clear of the water, but 
> the bird dipped slightly forward at a sharper angle into the water, and 
> seemed to think it was an effective disguise as it was quite confiding- see 
> photos on Wildiaries at
> I was struck by its almost tailless appearance and short wings, with large 
> rather elliptical eye surrounded by a narrow pale edging, and broad buffy 
> central crown stripe. The bird remained frozen for some 10 minutes, then 
> began to preen before then feeding somewhat like a godwit in the shallow 
> water. I have not seen this species in such an open situation on my handful 
> of previous sightings, of which two have now been in October in this area. 
> One other peculiarity was the odd feather shape of what I think were the wing 
> coverts- the bird was so fluffed out it was hard to tell- but they looked to 
> have an extended centre vane with just a narrow feather width around it, 
> sticking out some 5 cm or so from the usual broader feathers, and maybe old 
> worn and unmoulted feathers.
> A great sighting, thanks to Lisa and Dominic for permission to go look for 
> the bird on their property and thanks to Jun and Sae Matsui for the lift.
> Phil & Sue Gregory
> Http://
> Http://


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