GREAT SNIPE Gallinago media

Snipes occur worldwide and are fairly similar in appearence, except for some of the rarer South American ones. Great Snipe is an example which is a vagrant to Britain from Eastern Europe, although there is not much difference in size from other gallinago species. The best identification features are barring being over the whole belly, and white edging to coverts, although variable these features are usually apparent. Often elusive and difficult to photograph, this particular bird was the complete opposite, probably because it was in somewhat abnormal habitat. Although I have seen others in the UK, opportunities like this are rare, it is easier to see them at leks in Poland or elsewhere.

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