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Look and Listen for Snipe

The photos of Snipe above taken recently by Charlotte Clough capture the bird in typical breeding habitat. On Arran Snipe is described as a localised breeder with very few confirmed breedings reports. Snipe like damp or marshy grassland and wet bogs and there is no shrtage of that on Arran. Breeding Snipe may be overlooked and under-reported. While the concealed nests and camouflaged birds mean that nests are difficult to find, breeding  can be detected by looking out for their characteristic display flights and listening for the distinctive call of the breeding male.

The short video on the left is of the male calling. The sound can carry a long distance. It is repetitive and unique.

The Snipe display flight is fascinating. It is referred to as "drumming" or "bleating". It is a strange evocative sound which the birds generate from their vibrating outer tail feathers. Towards dusk or dawn or after light rain are usually good times to hear this sound that can fill the still air. The short video on the bottom right gives a flavour of this. It is viewed best on full screen with the sound turned up.

Common Snipe singing male
Common Snipe Flight Display
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