It was nice to watch this roding(pronounced `roading) Woodcock the other week.I`d previously found a nest the year before in the same wood, so it was nice to know they were back breeding.
The Woodcocks display flight entails flying low just above the treetops,it inscribes a broad circle,sometimes taking several minutes to complete,emitting a low type croak,punctuated every few seconds with a sharp sneezing squeak.All this happens at dusk after the sun has set.
You usually don`t get to see a Woodcock unless it moves.When incubating eggs on its nest, it is nigh on impossible to see,such is the sublety of its camouflage among the bracken.Its thick black stripes and russet tones just blend perfectly into the background cover.Only its eye may give away its prescence.The only way I came across this particular nest was because I flushed the bird from underfoot.
Highly sought after by the shooting fraternity,to shoot a left and a right and hit two Woodcock, is considered the top shot by all and gentry.Many of these birds come over from Scandanavia and the East supplementing our own native reidents.As they are so hard to hit many remain unscathed anyway.A truly fascinating gamebird the Woodcock, one that I`d love to photograph more regularly!!!