Although the spring migration of woodcock is rather delayed this year, it has now started in earnest! It is amazing how much we are learning about this largely nocturnal species through radio tracking – a small backpack fastened onto the bird which allows us to follow them to their breeding grounds in Scandinavia and Russia. They do often travel amazing distances in “one hit” before stopping to rest and feed.
We have also found that many are quite site faithful, coming back to our shores to over winter, sometimes to be re-captured in exactly the same field! Of course, not all woodcock migrate, some are resident and they will be sorting out breeding territories now and the males will start “roding” soon – flying at dusk around their woodland territories, all the while emitting a strange grunting and squeaking sound.
I will blog more about this later in the season, but in the meantime, why not follow the migrating woodcock, by clicking on: www.woodcockwatch.com
It is truly fascinating!