The Woodcock Network

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Patron ~ The Duke of Northumberland, DL, MRICS

Scientific Advisor ~ Dr Andrew Hoodless, Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust

Veterinary Advisor ~ John Chitty, BVetMed, CertZooMed, CBiol, MIBiol, MRCVS

Veterinary Advisor ~ Chris Davis, BVM&S, MRCVS

Director ~ Owen Williams

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Winter Migrants Returning

There have been numerous reports of woodcock across the UK over the past few weeks the earliest confirmed migrant was seen at the Spurnhead Observatory on the 10th of October with further regular sightings since.

On North Ronaldsay there were large falls of woodcock at the end of October occuring with increase in moonlight.Their website reported 45, 42, 16, and 33 on Oct 22nd, 23rd, 24th, and 30th respectively. Birds seem to pushing westwards rapidly Bardsey Island observatory reported 1 woodcock on the 18th Oct with another 8 on the 22nd.

The BTO have received 3 overseas returns for woodcock ringed in Wales over the past two years, all three were shot in Russia near to Moscow. Its too early to draw any firm conclusions from these few returns which by no means represent a significant sample, but it appears that significant numbers of Welsh wintering birds probably head for Russia to breed.

We are currently talking to the GWCT and the BTO about ways in which better and more widespread reporting of woodcock can be fed into the BTO 'Birdtrack' database.We hope to have more to report on this very soon. Meanwhile you can register on Birdtrack by going onto the BTO website using the link on our contacts page.

A full moon is holding us back on ringing until a later moonrise gives us a few hours after dusk next Saturday (7th). I can't wait to see who's turned up back on my local site after the summer away, although based on observations made last year the first 15 birds ringed in November were mainly juvenile.


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