Friday, 16 January 2015

Taking stock whilst catching woodcock

We were out woodcock-catching again this week, adding to our totals at one of our ringing sites.

Project leader Andrew Hoodless had an impressive session on Monday night with eighteen woodcock caught; ten of which were recaptures. This is what this project is really all about; the investment in ringing is reaped when we recapture previously-ringed birds. Collecting repeated biometric measures from different marked individuals will, over time, improve our understanding of the bird’s movements and changes in condition. It does, however, come at some cost – especially on nights like Monday. The best woodcock-catching weather is wet and windy, which it certainly was, and Andrew ended the night soaked through and freezing cold.

We were out again last night with far less success. There was enough wind, but it was a very clear starlit night, and most of the birds we saw flushed. We managed five between us (mostly Andrew) and this did include one recaptured bird. Frustrated by having missed a lot of birds, I ended the night by catching something other than a woodcock. This obliging stock dove sat nicely, and made an interesting and unusual addition to our night’s total.

Please help us continue our woodcock research


  1. You said last year that you would put a heading/ explanation for the black figure in brackets against each bird. I have already forgotten what it is!!
    R.F. McConnell

  2. Hi. It's the number of blog posts that have been written mentioning that particular bird.

  3. Thrilled to bits - first time ever - we've got a brace of woodcock in the garden, they've been here for about 4 days. No sign of trackers on them.