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(Common) Snipe
Gallinago gallinago
Size: 24-28cm
UK Status: fairly common resident migrant breader / passage visitor and common winter visitor


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Somewhat dumpy medium-sized wader with proportionally very long straight bill. Generally brown plumage with bold pale stripes on head and back. Pale underparts. White wing and tail edges striking in flight (eg when flushed). Performs distinctive display flight of short steep dives, outer tail feathers creating "drumming" sound. Rather shy. Breeds in damp areas such as marshland or bog, preferring short dense vegetation. Can be seen all year round throughout Britain.

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