Eventually decided that I would try to do a bit of ringing this evening even though conditions were not ideal for lamping. It was calm, dry and the sky was clearing which sounds a perfect night to most, but to a Woodcock ringer those conditions mean tricky catching. I was pretty keen none the less as I haven't been out with the lamp for several weeks.
Spotted a Woodcock early on but unfortunately he (or she) was a runner. Sometimes birds when caught in the beam start wandering instead of squatting down on the ground. These birds often fly off which is exactly what this one did. There was nothing else to see in that field so onto the next I went. There appeared to be nothing in it except of a few ducks on a large pool but then I came across a Lapwing. Duly caught it and fitted it with nice new shiny ring and stole a few biometrics (measurements in other words), this was quickly followed by another. This bird was quite a bit lighter than the previous which caused a little concern but it went away fine and flew strongly down the field.
My best Woodcock field was yet to come but on approaching it I noticed several hundred eyes lighting up in the beam. The damn sheep were in it! Thankfully I stopped looking at sheep (hard for a Welshman...) clapped eyes on this little beauty.
Its my first of the year and hopefully the first of many. This one even posed for a picture on release, very kind of it indeed except for the fact that it almost few into my head as it flew off!