Snipe (Gallinago gallinago) is a localised breeding redsident in NI and also a common winter visitor. The breeding population is however only estimated to be about 4000 pairs. The race G.g. faroeensi breeds in Iceland, the Faroes and Shetland and is assumed to be a regular winter visitor - there is a historic ringing recovery of a bird from Iceland. Local birder Stephen Foster has kindly sent in some notes and a photograph of a bird that he has observed in NI:

During a wildfowl count on Lough Neagh on 17 November 2003, I encountered some Common Snipe in a wet, heavily poached field by Curran Quay near Kinturk, County Tyrone.  Three birds were standing together; one individual was strikingly darker than the other two.  The light was not good but I managed to get some digiscope record shots of the dark bird and its companions.  A look through my bird books at home led me to conclude that the dark one was possibly an individual of the race faeroeensis from Iceland/Faeroes/Shetland.  Recently I studied the photos again and after a search on the internet I have found a photo that matches quite well with my bird  In theory there are probably quite a few birds of this race around in winter but it’s not often you get the chance to pick them out.  

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