After a very pleasant morning in Devon I ventured out this evening for another go at Woodcock. There weren't many around, only 3 possibly 4 but i couldn't get near to most. There could have been a few reasons as to why they were so spooky, it could have been the very small moon providing enough light for the lamp not to be as effective. Could have been the Barn Owl (which was a year tick) which was quartering the fields or most likely was that there could have a shoot somewhere nearby earlier today. I suppose most shoots happen on Saturdays so I am going to blame that instead of my lamping skills. Despite the birds not doing what they should I still managed to catch one.
Thought I'd take a picture of the birds back which forms most of its camouflage. Imagine that in some leaf litter and it would disappear!
This bird was very calm in the hand and even sat on my hand for a while before I placed it on the ground for release!
I've mentioned Woodcock a couple of times on the blog so far but haven't mention why I make quite a lot of effort to ring them. My trainer Steve and myself are members of the Woodcock network which is an organisation which is trying to find more about this species. Its one of the lease understood species to occur regularly in the UK so by ringing as many as possible we are finding out about where these birds come from. The networks website can explain it much better than I can so have a look at http://www.ringwoodcock.net/ and if your a ringer interested in ringing Woodcock please get in touch!