After the Scarlet Tanager and host of other birds at Jamaica Bay on Sunday I thought I would wander across Cross Bay Boulevard and see what was happening on the East Pond and at Big John’s Pond.  Upon my arrival at Big John’s Pond there was one other person in the blind and he kindly pointed out for me a Wilson’s Snipe working the bank of the pond immediately to the left of the blind.  It was great to get such a close look at a snipe but it was immensely frustrating that the bird was mostly obscured by leafy branches.  Shortly after showing me the bird the other occupant of the blind left, leaving me alone with the snipe, which was slowly working its way further left where I saw it would eventually come to a section of bank unobstructed by branches.

So I waited.  Patiently.  Very, very, very patiently, it turned out, because this snipe did not want to make things easy.  Fortunately, a female Gadwall let me take some shots from rather close range but Gadwall just are not as interesting as snipe so I found myself continuously peeking over at the snipe to make sure I hadn’t missed it wandering out into the open.

Then the Gadwall went into cover and left me still awaiting the snipe’s movement into the open.  When the snipe reached the very edge of the area where it would be clear of obstructing branches it sat down and closed its eyes.  Aaaarrrrgggghhhhh!  I briefly considered throwing rocks at it to get it moving again but it seemed that the snipe sensed my malicious intent because it suddenly stood up and moved into the open and put on one heck of a show!

When I left the snipe was once again going behind some bushes, but I told a birder coming in where the snipe was.  I wonder if they waited as patiently as I did, and, if they did, if they were rewarded as well?

This post has been submitted to Bird Photography Weekly #40.  Go check it out!


Written by Corey
Corey is a New Yorker who lived most of his life in upstate New York but has lived in Queens since 2008. He's only been birding since 2005 but has garnered a respectable life list by birding whenever he wasn't working as a union representative or spending time with his family. He lives in Forest Hills with Daisy and Desmond Shearwater. His bird photographs have appeared on the Today Show, in Birding, Living Bird Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, and many other fine publications. He is also the author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to the Birds of New York.