Unique Latham's Snipe are making their way to Milang from Russia and Japan

Snipe art: Darryl, Natalie and Roger pictured at the Milang Men's Shed with a handcrafted, unpainted Snipe cut-out, available for decoration.
Snipe art: Darryl, Natalie and Roger pictured at the Milang Men's Shed with a handcrafted, unpainted Snipe cut-out, available for decoration.

Some of Milang's favourite tourists are set to return to the region this summer.

The tiny visitors only weigh 200 grams, but will fly more than 8000 kilometres from Japan and Russia to enjoy the Fluerieu summer. They are the Latham's Snipe.

These shy birds are so well camouflaged they are rarely seen, but enjoy the summer in south-eastern parts of Australia, before beginning their journey home in March.

The Nature Foundation and Goolwa to Wellington LAP are inviting those interested in learning more about these fascinating creatures to join in an upcoming arts project.

On Thursday December 12, the 'Snipe Project' held at the Milang Rotunda from 2pm, will allow members of the community to celebrate the unique Latham's Snipe by painting and decorating wooden cut-outs of the bird for an outdoor display at Milang.

Nature Foundation spokesperson Natalie Stalenberg said that although Snipe visit Milang each year, they are often rarely spotted due to their unique camouflage and hiding abilities

"One of the biggest threats to the Snipe is habitat loss," she said.

"To help prevent this we are delivering Commonwealth water for the environment into the Milang Snipe Sanctuary to ensure the Snipe have enough food over the hot dry months to sustain them on their long flight home.

"As it dries-out we need to create nice muddy patches and shallow pools amongst the samphire."

The medium-sized brown bird has a long straight bill which it uses to feed on seeds, insects, earthworms and spiders and occasionally molluscs, isopods and centipedes.

Local SA government ecologists have recently identified 11 Snipe in the Milang Snipe Sanctuary.

"Through the Snipe Project we will create a colourful flock of Latham's Snipe, hand cut by the Milang Men's Shed, and decorated by local school students and community members," Ms Stalenberg said.

"The decorated Snipe will be displayed at Milang Snipe Sanctuary to draw attention to the plight of this cryptic bird."

Join Nature Foundation and Goolwa to Wellington LAP at the Rotunda in Milang on Thursday, December 12 from 2pm to hear about Latham's Snipe and decorate a Snipe cut-out.

You can also collect your own Snipe cut-out for decoration by contacting Jacqui from GWLAP on 8536 5600.

The decorated flock will be displayed at Milang before these little birds head off on their way in March 2020.