Everything has it's beauty, but not everyone sees it. - Confucius
Sometimes the picture doesn't have to be perfect; it's the captured moment that counts. - me
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Tuesday, 27 October 2009

A few more pictures

Another mix of some recent pictures.

Wood Pigeon, giving me the eye.

This young Cygnet happily stopped for a picture

unlike this Canada Goose, who couldn’t wait to get going.

A bashful looking Blue Tit, from last month.

The next four are of a Snipe, that I spent some time watching at the weekend. It’s not often I manage to get reasonably close to these, before they decide to leave.

The first one is the only half decent one that came out whilst he was splashing around, taking a bath.

Not much splash in this shot. But what happened next, really surprised me.

He jumped up backwards, out of the water, shaking his wings. I presume to dry them? Never seen anything like that before.

Now all my bird books say the Snipe has a long straight bill. The next two pictures, show its open bill, and......

it’s curved!

I’m confused. Glad I got it on camera though.


  1. Wow great shots Keith. The back jumping Snipe is brilliant. I have never managed to get a half decent shot let alone a close up. Well done.

  2. Love the snipe series, Keith! Especially the one of it jumping backwards.

  3. Great shot of the Snipe Keith, or should that be Snipes? That beak is amazing. How does it fit together?

  4. I love your photos. They are tack sharp, and you always manage to catch the exact right moment!

  5. Oh these are wonderful!! I love them all.so beautiful. I want to pen and ink them!!! I love the backwards jumping one..giggle!! Love shore birds!! Namaste to you, Sarah

  6. Thanks Trevor. I've been lucky with the Snipe recently. He's been quite bold in his feeding habit the last few weeks. I usually catch the tail end as they fly off lol

    Thanks Wilma. I was pleased to capture that moment, never having seen that before.

    Cheers Adrian. The beak thing is a complete mystery to me. I thought I was seeing things at first.

    Thanks for your comment Jen. Just waiting paid off that time. I sit for ages in one spot sometimes, to see what comes to me, rather than pass by searching.

    Thank you Sarah. Not many Shorebirds that I can readily identify; a lot seem so similar to me, but I'm slowly learning.
    Draw away. I'd like to see some :)

  7. Hi Keith,
    Nice set of pictures again and I love the Canada goose one a lot!!! The blue tit is also very nice. Concerning the snipe, it has happened to me also to see this little curve on common snipe, even when the bill is closed! None of the snipe are supposed to have a curved bill, but life is hard ;-) and might get your bill-up instead of straight... Still i guess it is strange when we se things out of the ordinary!!

  8. Some interesting observations here. It will be interesting to see if anyone else has observed similar traits.
    Amazing how an upper beak can appear straight whne closed and curved when open.

  9. A backward jumping snipe... brilliant! I've noticed a change in woodpigeons lately, they've become quite defiant. Great pictures Keith.

  10. Thats amazing about the snipe Keith. The beak looks straight when its closed.??

  11. Very nice array of bird friends! That pigeon looked healthy and I wish I had that bushtit here! Lovely photos!

  12. Great set of photos Keith. The Blue Tit is a real cracker of a shot, so crisp.

  13. That's a beautiful coloured Blue Tit.

  14. Chris, thanks for your comment. I thought I'd try something a bit different with the Canada Goose; wasn't sure if it worked or not.
    I'm glad you mentioned seeing a Snipe with a curved bill too. I thought I was going mad lol

    Thanks for your comment Carol. It seems Chris has also noticed a curved bill on a Snipe. Always something new to see when we take the time to really look.

    Valerie, thank you. I've noticed more and more Woodpigeons recently. I think they've come from Europe for the winter.

    Thanks Roy. The Snipes bill is straight as an arrow usually; till he opens it, it would seem. I was totally surprised when I noticed it.

    Thanks Shelley. The Woodpigeon did look well fed lol

    John, thanks for your comment. The Blue Tits are lovely little birds, but never seem to keep still for long.

    Thanks Jim. I don't think he was very old; his feathers looked quite fresh.

  15. Just lovely. I feel as though I'm there. Thanks for taking me along.

  16. I loved the 'jumping' Snipe Keith. I've never seen one, jumping or otherwise!

    I loved the Blue Tit too and the Woodpigeon looked quizzical as only they know how :)

  17. Great stuff Keith. I love that little Snipe. The jump up is hilarious :-)

  18. Thanks Andrea, glad you enjoyed them. :)

    ShySongbird, thank you. These were probably the best views I've had of the Snipe so far. Was interesting to watch him.

    Cheers Nick. His jumping really took me by surprise.

  19. Hello Keith. Just caught up with this post and your terrific snipe bill pictures. The bendy bill has a posh scientific name - rhyncokinesis - which means.....bendy bill as far as I can see! In most waders the tip of the upper mandible is flexible and can be raised and lowered separately from the rest of the bill but in the longer billed waders like snipe and curlew this is particularly well developed. It seems to be to do with increasing the flexibility and sensitivity for picking up small prey items when probing deep into mud.
    'Waders' by WG Hale in the New Naturalists series has quite a bit about this if you can get hold of a copy.
    I posted a bit recently on the curlew's bill (http://standandstare-nyctalus.blogspot.com/2009/10/bent-billed-curlew.html) that you might be interested in
    Best wishes

  20. Allan, thanks for your very interesting comment, and information. The 'curve' on the bill is something I'd never known about, until I saw it for myself.
    Had a look online for that book; think I'll order a copy.
    Thanks for taking the time to comment. Appreciate it.