A common but often overlooked winter visitor that may still nest in Dorset in damp places



Snipe (Gallinago gallinago) are not exactly rare birds in Dorset but I seldom see them. The reason is actually quite obvious from my photograph!

They are not big waders and they are dull, streaky brown which makes for ideal camouflage. Unlike many waders who are quite happy to get out on the mud flats at low tide to feed the snipe never does, they like to keep themselves away from open spaces and 'hide' in reeds or amongst salt-marsh grasses.

Snipe have no really distinctive features other than that long pointed bill and yet they are quite obvious to identify, even from a distance. They are generally a winter visitor although a very small number may possibly nest on damp, boggy areas on our heaths; this will only be a handful though at most. Those that over winter here can generally be found in places where there are scrapes and salt-marsh such a Lodmore, Radipole, Arne and Christchurch harbour.


Common Name Snipe
Scientific Name Gallinago gallinago
Interest Level
Related Species - CLICK TO VIEW Sandpipers
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This species has been seen at the following sites featured on the Nature of Dorset:

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