Snipe Hunt**!

We finally managed to get down to the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge, and the weather was nearly ideal.  The trip started auspiciously with Leslie capturing this shot of a Wilson’s Snipe before we even entered the driving tour.   

I don’t see enough Wilson’s Snipes to say they are a favorite, but I spent nearly five years looking for one to photograph before finally finding one.  I have seen them more frequently once I actually found one, but we rarely see them.  

So it was totally unexpected when she got a shot of another snipe a little later.  Who says lightning doesn’t strike twice in the same place?

I really thought we had hit a bonanza when Leslie said she had gotten a shot of a small flock of them.

I only got a glance at the flock because I was concentrating on locating a woodpecker in the other direction. However, I certainly thought it had been a small flock of Wilson’s Snipe after I took this shot a few minutes later in the exact same spot,  because this definitely a Snipe.

It’s only when I was home looking at the pictures on screen of the birds lifting off that they looked like Dowitchers, not Wilson’s Snipe.

Apparently we’re not the only ones who were confused by the two because the Cornell site shows a closeup of the two together and points out some of the differences — and they are fairly subtle differences.

Even without the Dowitchers that’s the most Wilson Snipes we’ve ever seen in a single day.

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