You’re Always Sniping

The snipes have returned!

The whistling made by the wind winnowing through their wings or feathers as they dive for insects is a constant, from morning till night. It gives me such pleasure whenever I stand out on the step, and especially now after not hearing it since the fall.Wilsons_Snipe_Chris_Wood_glamor

Here’s a link if you’d like to hear it. Click on the “Sound” button. There are a few chirps and peeps, but then the “woo-woo-woo-woo-woo-woo-woo-woo” of their wings begins.

Click on the tab for “Sounds” and then click the green dot under “Calls.”


The bird flies so high that it is usually not seen at all and when you do spot it, it doesn’t seem at all the size and shape that it actually is. It seems smaller and its long bill isn’t visible. From the distance it looks like a nighthawk.

To get a good look at a snipe standing still, you keep an eye on fenceposts or, in this yard, sometimes on the chimney of the tractor shed roof.

Their constant summertime presence is one of the magics of living in this spot… and there are many, when it comes to birds that like to stay near water. There are also owls around, and their gentle hooting enlivens the evening hours. It’s too cool to stand for long on the step, and too dark to wander far from the bright circle of the yardlight, so I don’t stay out long on these early spring nights. But I step out often, just to listen to the owl and the frogs and all the others, unseen in the shadows.

checking cattle r

We left early after another family feast last night, but turned east from the SouthForks’ driveway so Scott could make sure all was well with the cattle.

evening sky r

When we lived in that yard, I headed west on my walks and the sky was always magnificent. Last night I got out and stood beside the truck to admire it. 


8 thoughts on “You’re Always Sniping

  1. I guess I’ve heard that bird call most of my life but never knew for sure what it was. Now I’ll know. Those quiet evenings on the farm are great to listen to the birds. (Before the mosquitos get too bad).


  2. Ralph,
    If not for mosquitoes and ticks, the world’s population might move here. We wouldn’t want that, would we!
    But seriously … I dream of a screened-in veranda so I could sit out on summer nights without slathering myself with repellents. Even if I do only use essential oils … nothing seems to work 100%.


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