Cinereous brown (winter), or reddish brown variegated with black (summer); rump and tail white, with numerous dusky transverse bars.
S. grisea, Temm. Man. dOrn. torn. II. p. 679. S. Noveboracensis, Wils. Amer. Orn. vol. vii. p. 45. pl. 58. f. 1. (Summer). Brown Snipe, Mont. Orn. Diet. vol. ii. with fig. in Supp. Brown Long-beak, Selb. Illust. vol. ii. p. 103. pl. 24. f. 2. Shaw, Zool. vol.xn. p. 61. pl. 9.
Entire length eleven inches: length of the bill two inches six lines. Mont.
(Winter plumage). Between the bill and the eye a dusky-streak; above that, passing over the eye, a white one; cheeks and throat white, the former with a few brown streaks; crown of the head, neck, and upper part of the breast, cinereous brown, with the shafts of the feathers somewhat darker; back and scapulars dark brown, the feathers edged with cinereous and rufous brown; primary quills dusky, the inner ones and largest coverts immediately over them, slightly tipped with white; smaller coverts above and below the bastard winglet dusky and white; the rest of the coverts cinereous brown, darkest in the middle of the feathers; secondary quills dusky brown, tipped and edged with white: lower part of the breast, belly and thighs, pure white; Hanks whitish with dusky bars; lower part of the back white; rump and under tail-coverts white, with transverse crescent-shaped dusky spots; upper tail-coverts and tail thickly barred with black and white: tail of twelve feathers: bill dusky, lightest at the base: legs yellow olivaceous green. Mont. (Summer plumage). Crown of the head, nape, back and scapulars, reddish brown, variegated with black and yellowish; cheeks, and streak over the eye, pale reddish; fore part of the neck and breast reddish brown; wing-coverts cinereous, with whitish edges; belly, rump and tail, as in winter. Temm. (Young of the year). All the upper parts blackish brown, the feathers broadly edged with bright ferruginous; eyestreak and under parts dirty white tinged with reddish, the ferruginous tint most distinct on the breast; breast and flanks spotted with dusky brown; the middle tail-feathers tipped with red. Temm. (Egg). Unknown.
A native of North America. In this country an extremely rare and accidental visitant. The specimen described by Montagu was shot in the beginning of October, on the coast of Devonshire. Since then, a second, in summer plumage, has been killed at Yarmouth. Wilson states that it differs in its habits from the Common Snipe, keeping on the sea-coast, and being seldom or never seen inland. Food, worms and small bivalve mollusca. Nidification unknown.