After a slow and on my part nervous start, I am beginning to feel like Smithy is one of my sons on a gap year before university and I can only get second hand information about him via his Facebook page. I want to know more than just where he is!
From watching Smithy being captured and tagged on land at my shoot in North Somerset on the 3rd March to the last recorded sighting of him on the 25th June, he has travelled over 3,500 km from his feeding grounds near Bristol to Tamogsky district of North East Russia. And what an adventure he appears to have had along the way.
It would be interesting to hear Dr Andrew Hoodless’ views on why he hasn’t set up home for his roding rituals in any one particular place.
I’ve noticed that many of the other woodcock have remained static for quite some time. I would like to think this is because they’re females and are staying with their nests during daylight and only moving in darkness, which is why there have been no new sightings. I do hope so.
My uneducated conclusion from this personal research is that Smithy is clearly Russian, he is young, very fit and energetic. He also likes river valleys (salmon preferred) and has a fondness for motorways! Just like with my gap year son, I have so many questions that for now, will remain unanswered!
I am looking forward to hearing Dr Hoodless speak at the CLA Game Fair on Friday, 18 July at 3pm in the GWCT’s tent. I have so many questions! Smith & Williamson, which sponsors Smithy, will be hosting a drinks reception earlier at 2pm, at the same venue, so if anyone would like to swap woodcock stories, they are very welcome to come along. I look forward to meeting you.