Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Amy back at site where she was caught - 6,400km later!

Amy has moved further west and is now back at the exact site she was caught in Galway, Ireland. She left on 10th March and has travelled 6,382km on her journey to Russia and back.

What is really interesting about this is that Amy was still in eastern Ireland on the 6th of February, so we know she did not return to the west until some time this week.

This behaviour shows that woodcock will make large movements through the course of the winter, not just in the autumn. This confirms what we suspect about their ability to react to changes in local weather conditions - but it is particularly interesting to see that she has eventually returned to a familiar site.

This essentially seems to show that woodcock can retain information about a suitable wintering site, but only choose to return to it if the weather is sufficiently bad. It may even be that individuals have a suite of different sites they’ve visited before, and can resort to different options given the different situations presented to them (although this last point is only speculative with the data we currently have).

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