Monday, 30 September 2013

Looking for Swinhoe

Richard's Pipit wasn't my only target while visiting Mae Hia Agricultural College during the past few days, I also looked out for the scarce Swinhoe's Snipe, which might join the flock of Pintail Snipes which was presenting in a flooded grassy plots at the college. The trick is to drive around through the plots and photograph the snipes from the car, otherwise, they'd flush very easily if you approach by foot. I came across 3-4 individuals in the morning but unfortunately couldn't quite put an ID on it due to the lack of nice views of its outer tail feathers.

Adult Pintail/Swinhoe's Snipe

Very well squared head!

You can see one of its bigger 'pin' tail feathers here.
Surely it's a male bird according to the all blackish feather with only white tip.
Female's pins would be mottled brown. But knowing this still doesn't help much with the ID!
But I'm leaning much towards the common Pintail since the feather looks quite narrow.

Then it started preening, a sign of hope!

But something caught its attention and made it become wary.
So it decided to walk up into the grass and do all the stretching and preening there!

If only it was still in the open, I would've been able to identify it with confident.

Then it finished its morning routine and flew away.........

Here's another Pintail/Swinhoe's Snipe which no one would be able to tell.
At least we can all know that it's a juvenile bird.


  1. "Swintails" are passage migrants here in HK, but I find them very hard to identify, even with a clear view !

    1. Yes, you can never be sure without seeing the pins! Super difficult pair to distinguish

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  3. Great shots of an elusive species. I am sure that it is often misidentified or unidentified.