SNIPE. During winter, snipes usually inhabit marshy and wet grounds, where they shelter themselves among the rushes. In frosty, and more particularly in snowy weather, they resort in great numbers to warm springs, where the rills continue open. In summer, they are found in the midst of the highest mountains as well as on the moors ; their nests are formed of dry grass; they lay four eggs of a dirty olive colour, marked with dusky spots. Notwithstanding that the snipe is a migratory bird, it may be doubted whether they ever entirely quit our shores. When disturbed, particularly in the breeding season, they soar to a great height, making a peculiar bleating noise ; and when they descend, dart down with vast rapidity. Although the snipe resembles the woodcock in appearance, and that their food is the same, yet their habits are very dissimilar.
Of all their enemies, perhaps the snipe has none more destructive than the blue hawks, which, says Mr. Daniel, " beat over a marsh or bog with great exactness, until they find the snipe, who through fear crouches as close to the ground as possible, and which they instantly seize." A young rabbit, or a rabbit's skin stuffed, placed on the bridge of a trap, and the trap carefully covered with moss if set in a bog, or with grass if in a marsh, will generally prove successful .especially as, whichever way they fly in a morning, they are sure to return by the same course in the afternoon; and, if not disturbed, will continue the same beat for four or five successive days. This will sufficiently intimate where to place the trap so as most probably to engage their attention.
Harewood, Harry. A Dictionary of Sports. London: T. Tegg and son, 1835.
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