Jack Snipe - Lymnocryptes minimus


Smaller than Snipe with a shorter bill, shorter tail and shorter wings. A secretive bird, the Jack Snipe is an extremely difficult bird to see, partly because they are not very common but mostly because they are so well camouflaged and when approached they tend to crouch down and let you walk past them, only flying at the last minute. It will fly low and rapidly drop down again, unlike Snipe which zig-zags and then flies off high. When feeding it has a characteristic 'bouncing' motion, as if it is on a spring.

Identification difficulty

In winter, found in lowland wetland areas - the edges of reedbeds and shallow lagoons, fenland, flooded meadows, river edges and muddy ditches.

When to see it

Birds usually arrive in the UK between September and November, leaving again in February and March.

Life History

Jack Snipes are migratory, spending the non-breeding period in Great Britain, Atlantic and Mediterranean coastal Europe, Africa, and India. Their breeding habitat is marshes, bogs, tundra and wet meadows with short vegetation in northern Europe and northern Russia.

UK Status

Wintering birds number 10,000-100,000

VC55 Status

Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Recorded in all months except June and July

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map

Species profile

Common names
Jack Snipe
Species group:
Records on NatureSpot:
First record:
05/03/2006 (Chris Lythall)
Last record:
15/01/2020 (Calow, James)

Total records by month

% of records within its species group

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