Members of the GWCT Woodcock Watch team have published an article in the May edition of British Birds. Andrew Hoodless and Chris Heward co-authored the article with Owen Williams of the Woodcock Network, a long-time collaborator with GWCT and keen woodcock ringer.
The article, entitled “Migration and movements of Woodcocks wintering in Britain & Ireland” gives a summary of the contribution that bird ringing, both recent and historic, has made to our understanding of woodcock movements and how this has been improved by the use of modern satellite-tracking techniques. Woodcock were one of the first species studied using ringing; Lord William Percy and his gamekeeper William Meach began ringing woodcock on the Alnwick Estate, Northumberland as long ago as 1891.
As the Woodcock Watch project draws to a close, we begin to analyse more of the data we have gathered for publication in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Some articles are already published; as well as the latest British Birds article, this includes a collaborative paper with French scientists at the Office National de la Chasse et de la Faune Sauvage regarding the timing of woodcock migration in relation to weather. Andrew Hoodless is currently working on the definitive woodcock migration paper using Woodcock Watch satellite-tagging and geolocator data, which we hope will be published in early 2021.