Of the numerous texts written on the snipe as a game bird, one that I continue to return to is “Snipe and Woodcock” from the Fin, Fur and Feather series. Written by L.H. De Visme Shaw, the first edition was published in 1903 by Longmans, Green and Co., of London, New York and Bombay.
Minute observations on habit and habitat were the order of the day, and while re-reading this text (in preparation for another season), I found the following paragraph both informative and charming:
“In one habit the full snipe differs diametrically from any other bird whose ways it is possible to observe closely. While other birds invariably rest with their heads to the wind, the snipe invariably does the reverse. Why, it is impossible to say. The bird, its shanks flat upon the ground and its beak pointing downwards and pressed against the breast, poses itself in the form of the letter V, the raised fan-like tail partly shielding the back from the wind.”
Mr. De Visme Shaw was an accomplished wildfowler and writer on the topic of, especially of migratory game birds. I return to this volume regularly as it always seems to have something new to share. For those who stumble across these pages I continue to post, I wish you a bountiful season.