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Conservation status: Green

Smaller than snipe with a shorter bill. It is a secretive bird and when approached it tends to crouch down, relying on its camouflaged plumage, only flying at the last minute. It will fly low and rapidly drop down again, unlike snipe which zig-zags and then flies off high. When feeding it has a characteristic 'bouncing' motion, as if on a spring.



Latin name

Lymnocryptes minimus


Sandpipers and allies (Scolopacidae)

Where to see them

In winter, found in lowland wetland areas - the edges of reedbeds and shallow lagoons, fenland, flooded meadows, river edges and muddy ditches.

When to see them

Birds usually arrive in the UK between September and November, leaving again in February and March.

What they eat

Insects, worms and snails.


EuropeUK breeding*UK wintering*UK passage*
--110,000 birds-



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