Photo `snipe hunt’ pays off

Posted May 08, 2012, at 10:45 a.m.
A hooded merganser takes flight.
Dave Small
A hooded merganser takes flight.
A black-capped chickadee.
Dave Small
A black-capped chickadee.
A black-capped chickadee.
Dave Small
A black-capped chickadee.
A hermit thrush perches on a branch.
Dave Small
A hermit thrush perches on a branch.
A white-tailed deer checks out the scene.
Dave Small
A white-tailed deer checks out the scene.
Snipe: Not a myth after all.
Dave Small
Snipe: Not a myth after all.
A yellow-rumped warbler.
Dave Small
A yellow-rumped warbler.
A yellow-rumped warbler.
Dave Small
A yellow-rumped warbler.

It wasn’t until I saw, many years ago, that the Maine hunting regulations listed the snipe as a migratory game bird, that I realized it was a real bird. Until then, the legendary stories about snipe hunting and the poor recipient of the joke, left holding the bag, while the pranksters laughed at their success, made me think that the bird itself was myth.

The gag goes something like this: An uninformed camper, hunter or participant is given a burlap bag and stationed on woodland game trail at night. The friends then explain that they will head into the woods and chase the snipes towards the bagger, who will close the bag once filled with the snipes. A grand meal will then be had by all.

The bush-beaters actually head back to camp, leaving their friend holding the bag … perhaps the origination of the phrase “left holding the bag” … oh well I guess, in a way, the jesters got me as well! I was able to photograph this Wilson’s snipe after it flushed in front of me and I was able to see it land several yards in front of me.

The yellow-rumped warbler and hermit thrush were caught at the Essex Street Marsh. Sunkhaze Meadows National Wildlife Refuge provided the black-capped chickadee, the in-flight hooded merganser and white-tailed deer.

 

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