Friday, 4 January 2013

Golden oldie

After several months of water buffalo like activity walking waterlogged fields, last night saw the return of more normal conditions on my woodcock ringing site. The ground is still very wet, but with a soft drizzle and a gentle breeze conditions were far more pleasant for catching than the howling gales and heavy rain of the past few months

I counted an amazing 42 woodcock on the site, this is far higher than previous year, it was also fascinating that all but one of these were juveniles. Out of the 100 I've caught so far this winter 75% are juveniles. The one adult caught last night was a bird I ringed on 30/1/09, I also retraped it on 24/1/11. A real 'Golden Oldie'.

I often wonder why I spend so much time in the winter wet and cold walking dark fields, Tony Cross is partly to blame, but last night reminded me what a fascinating obsession woodcock ringing is.

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