Certainly does change its profile alot when the bill is in the water - very
un-birdlike in silhouette. Not much more you could do when out in the open like
that i suppose!
Thanks for sharing Phil.
On 01/10/2011, at 5:07 PM, Phil & Sue Gregory wrote:
>> 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 http://www.wildiaries.com/trips/10750.
>> 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
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