The Woodcock that winter in Wales are mostly winter visitors from the continent and we have had many recoveries from our targeted ringing of this species over the past few years to show where exactly they come from. This May though has seen an exceptional rash of Russian recoveries, eight in total, including what is probably the furthest reported movement ever for a BTO-ringed Woodcock at 6,267kms. This massive movement was made by a bird ringed on the University Farm at Trawscoed near Aberystwyth on 4th January 2017 and recovered on 13th May 2018 50km north of Krasnoyarsk, Russian Federation. As can be seen from the map below that is north of Mongolia and about halfway through China!!
These recoveries are received with mixed emotions, on one hand they yield important data on Woodcock movements and hunting pressures but on the other they are all shot birds so will not be making any return journeys! Should you be a shooter reading this, next time you raise your barrel at a flushed Woodcock just take a couple of seconds to wonder (in both senses of the word) how far it has flown to be in your sights, hopefully a couple of seconds should be just long enough!!
The final Russian resting spots of eight Welsh-ringed Woodcock
All foreign recoveries of BTO ringed Woodcock up to the end of 2016
Robinson, R.A., Leech, D.I. & Clark, J.A.(2017) The Online Demography Report: Bird ringing and nest recording in Britain & Ireland in 2016. BTO, Thetford (http://www.bto.org/ringing-report, created on 5-September-2017)