great snipe defined in 1930 yeargreat snipe - Great Snipe;
great snipe - Crown black, divided lengthways by a yellowish white band; a streak of the same colour over the eye; upper parts mottled with black and chestnut-brown; greater wing-coverts tipped with white; under parts whitish, spotted and barred with black. Length, twelve inches.
The great, or solitary snipe, sometimes called the double snipe, resembles the common snipe in form and colouring, and in size is intermediate between that species and the woodcock. This species, described in the B.O.U. official list as a ' straggler,' hardly comes within the scope of the present work. But although a straggler, it comes regularly, appearing in the eastern and southern counties from the middle of August to the middle of October. These visitors are young birds, and few in number, and as they do not revisit us in spring, it may be assumed that they perish in their winter wanderings - the usual fate of stragglers from the migrating route of the species, or race. The fact that young birds in very many cases migrate in advance of the adults, that they keep to the same lines, and often journey vast distances, clearly shows that migration is performed instinctively. We may call the principle of action in this case crystallised experience, or inherited or historical knowledge, or lapsed intelligence, or by any other pretty name; but it is not ordinary intelligence - the guiding faculty that observes, considers, and profits by experience. And it is possible to believe that the young of the great snipe, when visiting Great Britain in the autumn, are going back to an ancient route abandoned by the species, perhaps thousands of years ago, on account of physical changes in the earth's surface, or of a change in the system of the bird itself.
near great snipe in Knolik
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