birding-aus Snipe

Subject: birding-aus Snipe
From: Laurence & Leanne Knight <>
Date: Tue, 16 Mar 1999 18:02:59 +1000


On the weekend I was doing a bit of spotting round Clarrie Hall Dam
[near Uki / Mt Warning in northern NSW].  Four times while I was walking
in the shin-knee high grass a couple of metres from the edge of the lake
I flushed what I presume were Latham's Snipe [there were at least two
birds] - they had long dark bills, white underparts and distinct head

There is a fair bit of variation in the listed size of L snipe - ranging
from 24-26 cm in Simpson & Day to 28-31 cm in Pizzey and Knight.  These
birds seemed to be at the larger end of that spectrum.

In a major point of difference with the field guides however, the snipe
did not 'dash wildly into the sky' or fly in a 'zig zagging' or 'erratic
flight'.  Rather, their flight was more consistent with the Readers
Digest - they flew around 100 metres in a fairly direct manner about 2-5
metres above the ground before landing in the grass beside the lake

The literature suggests that Lathams snipe is the only one frequenting
NSW - are there any reliable records of similar species of snipe in
northern NSW?

Laurie Knight, Brisbane.
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