Thursday, 9 October 2014


With heavy showers forecast overnight I headed out to one of our local winter 'dazzling' sites. The weather once again wasn't as predicted, so catching was extremely difficult. Before too long I was ready to settle for the Skylark and Meadow Pipit that I had caught, when a large long-billed bird got up and landed again. Woodcock I thought, so I quickly went over to try and catch it. When I got to the place it landed, all I could see was an enormous Snipe staring at me. I soon realised it was a Great Snipe and carefully crept through the reeds until I was within 'striking' distance. I couldn't believe it when I took it out of the net, it was an absolute monster.

The monster!!

A fully barred belly.

The distinctive tail pattern.

With only 3 other Great Snipe ever being trapped and ringed in the UK, several measurement and photos were taken of the key features that distinguish it from Common Snipe:

Wing length - 155mm (Common Snipe 127-142)
Tarsus - 39.4mm (Common Snipe 29-36)
Weight - 205.5g (Common Snipe 100g average)

Over the past 5 years, collectively as a group, we've managed to trap a good number of wintering waders on the hills around mid Wales:

Woodcock - 1,698
Common Snipe - 195
Jack Snipe - 99
Lapwing- 100
Golden Plover - 624
and now a Great Snipe.  Who knows what else could be lurking around in these parts!!


  1. It doesn't get much better than that mate!! Good job you didn't go to Ynyslas!!

  2. All those stonking birds you have caught in the past. It gets better and better. Amazing.

  3. Cracking bird, but with surprisingly little white in the tail


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