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Woodcock

 
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Jasper



Joined: 10 Oct 2009
Posts: 10
Location: Hampshire
PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 09 9:01 pm    Post subject: Woodcock  Reply with quote    

I have seen many woodcock over the last couple of weeks. Have I got my dates wrong or are they a bit early this year ?

Gervase



Joined: 17 Nov 2004
Posts: 8655

PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 09 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Does seem a bit early - usually it takes a good hard frost to get them moving westwards.

welshboy454



Joined: 21 May 2009
Posts: 187

PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 09 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Normally the first full moon in November is the yardstick in West Wales to see woodcock.

sako



Joined: 11 Oct 2009
Posts: 37

PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 09 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Had our first shoot 10 days ago in Devon but didn't see any Woodcock, still quite early.
Cheers
Richard

gunners71uk



Joined: 13 Oct 2009
Posts: 102
Location: notts
PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 09 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

what does one look like please

welshboy454



Joined: 21 May 2009
Posts: 187

PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 09 6:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

gunners71uk wrote:
what does one look like please


http://images.google.co.uk/images?hl=en&source=hp&q=woodcock&btnG=Search+Images&gbv=2&aq=f&oq=

Tavascarow



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 8404
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 09 7:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The first migrants have come accross the north sea but they wont reach me till mid December.
According to Chris Packham on Autumn Watch they wait for favourable winds to carry them accross the north sea & the winds where favourable last week.
I dont see as many here as I used to the winters have become to mild.
When the rest of the country freezes they move South West to find unfrozen ground.
I used to see loads at night when I was lamping for rabbits.
They hide in the woods in the day & come out into the fields to feed at night.
Can't remember the last time I saw one feeding here but still see a few flying over at dusk in Dec/Jan.
Beautiful little bird.

Treacodactyl
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 09 7:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

What can be done to encourage them to your land and help them? They like dense cover but are we talking bramble thickets, young coppice or something else? Do they also need open space to feed, shallow water or anything special? I've looked but I can't find any specific advice and it would be good to do something in return for the odd one for the pot.

welshboy454



Joined: 21 May 2009
Posts: 187

PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 09 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

They like dense undisturbed cover. Typical ground would be a wettish willow bramble area -sometimes thick old hedges alongside a ditch with a little running water.Often tucked in under a hollybush.But having said that if the weather is very wet they will move to drier ground -bracken fringes of the wetter margins. Very secretive they will run a little and make a clap noise with their wings when taking flight and quickly swerve behind the next bit if tree/cover out of sight.

Depends where you live -mild/frost is the key. Because they use their long beaks to poke in the ground while feeding they move to a milder area as soon as frost comes.
Very active feeding at night - they move out from their daytime resting place around dusk which is a good time to see them although then they are not a testing shot.

KILLITnGRILLIT



Joined: 14 Sep 2006
Posts: 894
Location: Looking at a screen in the front room
PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 09 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Both snipe and `cock like rough pasture that is rich in cowpats. I remember as well one book advocating spreading of waste abbatoir blood onto the fields

No it wasn`t a vampyre book

On a similar vein (did you see what I did there ?) we have been seeing 100`s of golden plover resting in fields at night when lamping and I haven`t seen anything like that in all my years.
May be related ?

Bodger



Joined: 23 May 2006
Posts: 13487

PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 09 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We planted a small area up with trees about ten years ago and were rewarded by having our first woodcock last year. I was absolutely over the moon.

Whilst we do have many migrants come to the UK for the winter, there is a population of residents here all year round. We need good hard weather over on the continent to send them across the sea to here.

gunners71uk



Joined: 13 Oct 2009
Posts: 102
Location: notts
PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 09 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

ta for the pic

welshboy454



Joined: 21 May 2009
Posts: 187

PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 09 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Went beating today and saw the first woodcock of the season.
Reached West Wales.

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