Monday, 27 December 2010

Bird Strike - Snipe?

This afternoon as I sat down to write a blog post my thoughts were interrupted by a loud thump. I knew immediately that a bird had hit the front window of our bungalow. The splash mark left of the window showed that it was quite a large bird.

This fellow obviously had a headache as he lay on the snow amongst the shrubs. It had been raining for a time and he looked a bit bedraggled with his brown/black plumage. The pictures below have been shot through the glass of the window so are not as clear as they might be. Two of the pictures show its long bill - pointing to the left and at least 4 inches long.

I believe the bird was a snipe or jack snipe it certainly flew like one when I went out to check it out. If anyone out there can identify it for me, please leave me a message in the comments.


David Robinson said...

Just had a scout around, bob, and I found some google images for both the common snipe and the jack snipe. Based on the length of the bill, I'd say the jack snipe. The picture fo the common snipe appear to show a long, more tapered bill.

Bob Scotney said...

David, I also used the RSPB bird identifier and it came up with a water rail. No way!

L. D. said...

Wrong continent for me to know. It reminds me of the shape of our quail over here. I hope he survived his big bump.

Bob Scotney said...

I have received this comment from the owner of Duncan & Cameron.

"Was having a look at your blog for article on Duncan & Cameron & saw the bit about the bird crashing into your window – it is a Woodcock. I’ve been a birdwatcher for many years – walking the dogs is not the best way of seeing things but do see quite a lot of stuff around the area.

The Woodcock is normally a very elusive woodland bird there has been a vast number seen round Cleveland over the last few weeks – mainly come over from Scandinavia. I saw one about ten days ago near Bob Smiths farm.

Both Snipe & Jacksnipe have stripes on the crown that are longitudinal – the Woodcock has lateral stripes like the ones in your pictures.

Cannot tell from pictures but size is also a giveaway Woodcock is about 3 inches longer than a Snipe and a Jack Snipe a further 3 inches smaller again / Blackbird sized and very secretive."

So it's a woodcock not a snipe. Thanks to Malcolm for the identification.