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Snipe in the snow!

Snipe in the snow!

Shellingford Pit, Oxon, UK. 7 February 2009
EOS 350D & 400mmf5.6. 1/1250 sec f5.6 ISO 400

Snipe are usually incredibly wary and skulking and getting photographs without hides is impossible. The day before this photo was taken there had been a heavy snowfall in southern England. Venturing out in the car the next day it was difficult to find anywhere to leave the car, let alone get photos. However my local patch site came up trumps, as it (very) occasionally does. With snow & ice everywhere the birds were clearly behaving differently, and this was one of a few Snipe that put in a surprisingly quite close appearance, as I was trying for Meadow Pipit shots! Unfortunately, my front line camera gear was temporarily out of action at the time, so this shot was taken with my reserve equipment, and is only just sharp enough to pass muster.

The bird appears to be displaying, almost in a Great Snipe manner, and with the low camera angle and snow, this is a unique, never to be repeated, photograph. The sunny conditions and catchlight in the eye are the icing on the cake for me.

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