Friday, 13 March 2015

Last woodcock of the winter?

While out last night on what will probably turn out to be the final lamping session of this winter, three woodcock were ringed out of five seen, together with a redwing and a meadow pipit. Numbers of woodcock in February were noticeably lower than in the same month in 2013 which had followed a snowy January, but catching conditions have been better so a personal total of 84 captures is not too dissimilar to the average of 99 over 5 previous winters. Other species have also been encountered in lower numbers than usual including redwing with just 4 ringed. Perhaps they prefer to roost in more sheltered sites than open fields during wet and windy conditions, or maybe there are fewer birds this far west than usual. The total for snipe (18) is the highest ever though this is more down to the cloudy, windy nights making them (slightly) easier to catch.

Poised and ready to fly to Russia, maybe the final woodcock to be ringed this winter

Hardly any redwings have been seen in the Pembs fields this winter and this was only the 4th to be ringed


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