Latham's Snipe

- posted by Rosey Pounsett

Latham's Snipe breed in Japan and migrate to Australia each year, arriving at Lake McIntyre from September onwards. They spend the spring and summer here before departing back to Japan in about March. Lake McIntyre has seen large numbers of snipe in the past, but recently (the last 2 years) there have been a lack of birds sighted at the lake. This may be because after two years of good winter rains, there area lot of places for the birds to go, and Lake McIntyre has been full to the brim for those two years, which deprives the birds of their favourite feeding places - the mud flats. The snipe's large straight bill is used to probe the mud flats for food, but by the time the lake has subsided enough to provide good mud flats, the birds have left to fly home to Japan.

The Lake McIntyre Management Board, with the help of the Millicent Field Naturalists, take part in the National Snipe Surveys which take place in September, November and January each year. There were 7 snipe sighted at the last survey in November, and we are hoping there will be a few more to count at this month's survey. 

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