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.

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    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

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

    UK Map