During our trip to Cornwall last week, we spotted a woodcock with a satellite tag. Andrew Hoodless got within 10 feet of the bird and could clearly see the tag, but wasn’t quite able to catch the bird. Hence, infuriatingly, we weren’t able to confirm the bird’s identity, but it was in the same field where Crugith was caught in February 2013 and we believe it is most likely to be this bird.
We received good data on Crugith’s autumn migration until she reached Germany on 9th November, so it is possible that she has been back in Cornwall for a while. The sighting, along with a recent transmission from Amy in Ireland, confirms our suspicions that a reasonable proportion of our 2013 batch of birds are still alive but their tags are not transmitting owing to the gloomy, wet winter weather.
The reliance on solar recharging of the smallest satellite tags is known to be a limitation in winter, but there is a chance that some of the tags may start transmitting again in late March/April when the birds head off on spring migration.
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