Thursday, 12 November 2015 Woodcock not mist nets

West Wales is being battered by one windy day after another so mist netting has ground to a halt, waiting for a lull.
At least windy weather means it is perfect for lamping. Last night we ringed our first Woodcock of the winter.

Conditions were difficult with very long, ungrazed grass and lots of slurry. Only 3 Woodcock were seen in 2 hours of walking and just 2 Fieldfare and a few Snipe flew from hiding. It is easier after sheep have been in the fields.
Birds are returning to our fields but numbers are still low unlike the density that Owen Williams in Mid Wales is already seeing, including one with a Geolocator. Numbers will increase for us when the weather turns much colder.
At our long running sites for lamping, sheep pastures in the Preseli Hills, Carningli, Boncath, St Dogmaels and Llechryd,  we have ringed 276 Woodcock since 2009 with some interesting recoveries, the furthest 2,845 km to Volgoda where it was shot.

Species seen in the last 3 nights include a few Golden Plover, Snipe, Skylark, Fieldfare and the highlight, a Short-eared Owl sat in the middle of a field that is our best for Golden Plover. Although we didn't catch it (very nearly though!), the chance to see one within a couple of feet of us was fantastic.

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