The Common Snipe

One of our small waders is the Snipe which is reasonably easy to identify with its long straight beak and short legs.  Snipe are resident in many areas of Britain throughout the year, and the numbers are increased by both birds on passage and by summer migrants.  The summer breeding population is up to 100,000 pairs which can increase to over 1,000,000 pairs during the winter as birds from further north arrive to escape the colder weather further north.

Male Snipe have a distinctive call which is called "drumming" due to the sound they make which is particularly common early in the morning and during the breading season which starts in late April.

As well as the Common Snipe, other species of Snipe include the Jack Snipe which is a winter visitor to England and Wales with a wintering population of over 100, 000 pairs.  The Jack Snipe has shorter legs, and a shorter bill, and is generally a shier bird that can be harder to spot. It is a low flying bird unlike the Common Snipe which flies much higher in the sky.

The images below were taken on the Isle of Uist in the Outer Hebrides, a great place to see many species of summer breeding birds that visit our islands.