Snipe - Gallinago gallinago

Alternative names
Common Snipe

Snipe are medium sized, skulking wading birds with short legs and very long, straight bills. Both sexes are mottled brown above, with paler buff stripes on the back. They are widespread as a breeding species in the UK, particularly on northern uplands. In winter, birds from Northern Europe join resident birds. The UK population of Snipe has declined in the past twenty-five years making it an Amber List species.

Identification difficulty

During the breeding season Snipe are best looked for on moorland, especially on early spring mornings when males can be heard giving their 'drumming' or 'bleating' display. In winter, look patiently around the edges of pools in well-vegetated wetlands.

When to see it

All year round but seen mainly in winter in Leicestershire and Rutland.

Life History

Snipe search for invertebrates in the mud with a "sewing-machine" action of their long bills.

UK Status

Widespread and fairly common in Britain

VC55 Status

A fairly common winter bird in Leicestershire and Rutland but rarely a breeding bird here.

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
Common Snipe, Snipe
Species group:
Records on NatureSpot:
First record:
01/01/1990 (Richard Ellison)
Last record:
12/02/2024 (Messenger, Nigel)

Total records by month

% of records within its species group

10km squares with records

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