Over the last month I have regularly checked a local “marshy” area to see how long WILSON’S SNIPE will hang around. Last winter I checked twice in December flushing 5 on the 20th. I didn’t get back until February 6 when I flushed 6. With the winter not being overly harsh I figure they were present all winter. They have been present this spring and Saturday taking a short stroll through the marsh flushed three. I stopped after 1 as not to disturb any others but flushed 2 more on taking a way out I didn’t think they would be located.
Looking at the eBird map for June shows very few records in Indiana except for the concentration around Goose Pond. And I’m sure there have been more at Goose Pond not recorded on eBird.
Checking Brock’s Birds of Indiana we see the average departure date for Central Indiana is May 6 and there are is an “n” in the 20-Year Abundance Table which indicates no records (over the past 20 years).
A line from The Birds of North America Online sums it up, “Marshy habitat, cryptic coloration, and crepuscular habits make for remarkably poor knowledge of this common species.”
Like the above sentence states, how does one check on the snipe without disturbing them? More importantly how do you check for young when you can’t even see the adults? Tread softly looking for a nest? Tough situation.
I’d sure like to know if they are breeding in the marsh but it might not be possible except by knowing there is snipe there the entire summer.
I’m open for suggestions.