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Woodcock-nice to see them back

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Lads when woodcock stop off in Ireland and UK in migration do the same birds stop off every year or different birds each time?

I mean do birds repeat visit year on year or is it random?

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18 hours ago, jwed said:

Lads when woodcock stop off in Ireland and UK in migration do the same birds stop off every year or different birds each time?

I mean do birds repeat visit year on year or is it random?

There was a study done and I think some did revisit the same area but I don't truly remember.

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19 hours ago, jwed said:

Lads when woodcock stop off in Ireland and UK in migration do the same birds stop off every year or different birds each time?

I mean do birds repeat visit year on year or is it random?

Yes mate , a lot of the birds are true to the same patch year on year, the same bush or base of a tree believe it or not.  Some of the ringing lads recapture the same birds year after year on the same field.......have a look at the ‘woodcock network’ on Fb.......interesting....

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Got out for my first ever woodcock flight this past week, again this morning. Just walking the dogs in the forest local, no gun. Pretty awesome just to watch them tbh.

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If anybody could catch them on film carrying their young (which they are supposed to do) I would love to see it. They always strike me as kind of weird, supernatural birds ( their drumming is something else) but whether they would have the knowhow to carry their young away from danger I would personally doubt. Has anybody on here witnessed it?

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1 hour ago, jukel123 said:

If anybody could catch them on film carrying their young (which they are supposed to do) I would love to see it. They always strike me as kind of weird, supernatural birds ( their drumming is something else) but whether they would have the knowhow to carry their young away from danger I would personally doubt. Has anybody on here witnessed it?

An old keeper friend of mine witnessed it and I would never doubt his word on it.

He even showed me where it happened.

 

Once I was waiting for a fox in heavy snow fall. I was stood next to a stream in a wood. As the snow got heavy the woodcock started to arrive and waid in the stream. I was only a few yards away and watched their inter actions with each other, a mix of mild aggression and courtship. A magical moment. 

The fox turned up and the following gun shot shattered the show for me.

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I wonder if a wildlife film crew has ever tried to engineer a situation where the bird carries its young? I've read that fire will make them carry their chicks to safety. Ethical problems in artificially creating danger would be a problem, but ethics don't usually stop wildlife film crews.🤔

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Had a good day Woodcock shooting in Cheshire on 16th December. Six of us turned up for a days walked up shooting over spaniels and a pointer . Great dog work and plenty of woodcock. We ended the day on 35 woodcock and 15 pheasant. They taste great too .

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Edited by shovel leaner
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19 hours ago, shovel leaner said:

Had a good day Woodcock shooting in Cheshire on 16th December. Six of us turned up for a days walked up shooting over spaniels and a pointer . Great dog work and plenty of woodcock. We ended the day on 35 woodcock and 15 pheasant. They taste great too .

0AF75EC7-BDEA-438B-BE35-F9A2DEAC3B2C.jpeg

3C07E056-AAAB-4B54-9659-74A88D6CE255.jpeg

What a day! Brilliant stuff! :good:

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1 minute ago, Born Hunter said:

What a day! Brilliant stuff! :good:

I’ve been all over woodcock shooting . I’ve been with a well know producer of fox calling videos in Cornwall and locally. And this was the best days  woodcock shooting I’ve had . The estate only does this day once a year and every year they shoot similar numbers. It’s low impact on the woodcock and I think it’s sustainable. I know  that there are a lot of people not shooting them now but it’s a personal choice and I love woodcock shooting/ eating . 

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4 minutes ago, shovel leaner said:

I’ve been all over woodcock shooting . I’ve been with a well know producer of fox calling videos in Cornwall and locally. And this was the best days  woodcock shooting I’ve had . The estate only does this day once a year and every year they shoot similar numbers. It’s low impact on the woodcock and I think it’s sustainable. I know  that there are a lot of people not shooting them now but it’s a personal choice and I love woodcock shooting/ eating . 

I honestly think 'hunting' woodcock is one of the most magical fieldsports available. In my mind their is a romanticism associated with woodcock unlike any other winged quarry and I hope we don't see the end of it because of well meaning but perhaps misguided conservationists within our own ranks.

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Just now, Born Hunter said:

I honestly think 'hunting' woodcock is one of the most magical fieldsports available. In my mind their is a romanticism associated with woodcock unlike any other winged quarry and I hope we don't see the end of it because of well meaning but perhaps misguided conservationists within our own ranks.

Couldn’t agree more . Some of the shooting organisations are pushing for restraint based on “RSPB” science . Actually what I’m seeing and what I hear is that numbers are the same as ever . We probably saw a couple of hundred woodcock on that day , the woods were “lifting” with them . If we don’t keep hunting them and enjoying these birds we will lose them off the quarry list which would be a sad loss , because they are a magical bird , that are plentiful in numbers. If anyone goes shooting and the shoot captain says “no woodcock “ , choose your moment and quietly ask him why ? and ask him on what grounds he bases his opinion . Ultimately if you are a guest you do as you are asked but it won’t do any harm to question it and maybe change their position. 

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24 minutes ago, shovel leaner said:

Couldn’t agree more . Some of the shooting organisations are pushing for restraint based on “RSPB” science . Actually what I’m seeing and what I hear is that numbers are the same as ever . We probably saw a couple of hundred woodcock on that day , the woods were “lifting” with them . If we don’t keep hunting them and enjoying these birds we will lose them off the quarry list which would be a sad loss , because they are a magical bird , that are plentiful in numbers. If anyone goes shooting and the shoot captain says “no woodcock “ , choose your moment and quietly ask him why ? and ask him on what grounds he bases his opinion . Ultimately if you are a guest you do as you are asked but it won’t do any harm to question it and maybe change their position. 

I can be persuaded not to shoot early season birds, as a large percentage of them will be our own native stock which is under threat I believe. But 98% of the annual woodcock bag is composed of migrant birds, which I believe are not under threat. In fact, I read a stat recently that put the global woodcock population greater than the global mallard population!

From GWCT

Quote

Q: Is the global estimate of woodcock falling?
A: No. The global population of 10-26 million individuals is considered stable.

Q: Are the woodcock that migrate here each autumn declining?
A: No. Approximately 800,000 to 1.3 million woodcock migrate to Britain and Ireland each winter, mainly from Scandinavia, Finland, the Baltic States and Russia, where results from a joint Franco-Russian survey indicate that breeding populations appear stable.

Even if we consider our native stock, is it really us (sportsmen) who are the threat or a reduction in suitable habitat and/or climate change?

Edited by Born Hunter
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I would not shoot woodcock until the first woodcock arrive and in my neck of the woods is the first moon in November and I usually start seeing them around bonfire night . So definitely agree not to shoot our native birds . Interesting point about the mallard population. I often think that the ban on woodcock on shoots is a bit of Virtue signalling and also that they can’t charge for woodcock and if you shoot one you might miss the opportunity to shoot a pheasant. 

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