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Update: August 31, 2004: added this page of comparisons of the presumed gallinago:

I've been puzzling over how the white tips to the secondaries could look so differently (narrower) in my flight photos compared to the detailed descriptions of all the obervers (e.g. three of us Europeans with the appropriate experience felt that the white tips were within range of European gallinago.) This experiment may provide an answer:-

The first image below by Park Hyong-ook - kindly supplied by Kim Hyun-tae via his fabulous web site - shows the underwing of a "Siberian" Common Snipe from South Korea in October, next to the Fort Worth, Texas bird (right):

- there are many similarities with the Fort Worth snipe - keep in mind that the Texas snipe is a late Spring bird that is molting, and the innermost secondary greater coverts on the underwings seem to either be heavily-worn or missing, hence the lack of white tips:-
- but the trailing edge of the secondaries has a much thicker white band on the Korean bird than on the Texan bird. The Texan bird was of course photographed in flight, so that there is likely to be some motion-blur due to my pan-rate not matching the speed of the bird. In other words, I was either moving a bit faster or a bit slower than the bird when I took the picture (the odds of me being exactly in-sync on such a fast-flying bird are almost zero.) As an experiment I used my Photo Editor's (PaintShopPro v.7) "motion blur" feature to adjust the image:- first I applied forward motion in the direction perpendicular to the wing:

- then I applied it 180 degees opposite:

Note that on both versions, the net effect is to NARROW the white trailing edge quite a bit, plus ENLARGE the black bars in the axillaries; the other white bands on the wing coverts are also slightly narrowed, but not as much as the trailing edge. So if this same effect were at play in my flight photos, it would not only mean that the white secondary tips are likely thicker than portrayed in my images, but that the black bars in the axillaries are narrower - yet even in their (presumed) thickened state in my images, these black bars are much more like gallinago than delicata; if they were even narrower, they may be well beyond the range for delicata? Note that I do not claim that the secondary tips on the Texas bird are as thick as those of the Korean bird, but I do suggest that they are - allowing for the narrowing-effect demostrated here - well within range of Siberian Common Snipe, which are documented as sometimes having much narrower white secondary tips than considered normal for birds seen in Europe.

Compare the Texas bird with the adjusted pics of the Korean bird: