Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Distant Drumming

At this time of year you can’t walk far in the upland areas of Weardale and Teesdale without hearing the strange bleating sound of snipe drumming. Flying around their territory in wide circles, perhaps a quarter of a mile across, they repeatedly go into power dives and splay out a pair of feathers on the leading edge of the tail. Air rushing over the feathers produces a weird reverberating sound. This bird was flying far too high and fast for a really clear photograph but you can see those splayed out tail feathers quite nicely. You can heard recordings of the sound by visiting here


  1. Not often I've seen or heard them like that Phil. I usually only get to see the back end as they fly off.

  2. I know what you mean Keith - I usually don't see them until they spring up and zig-zag away. Woodcock are even worse - on a couple of occasional I've almost trod on one before it's flown.........