We’ve not satellite-tagged new woodcock since spring 2018, and as we are now in the process of analysing and writing-up the data we have already gathered, we don’t intend to tag anymore.
Three existing tags, however, continue to send us occasional updates. These are Holkham (tagged: Norfolk, March 2018), Nellie III (tagged: Norfolk March 2017) and Fonthill Abbie II (tagged: Wiltshire, March 2016). All three have provided us with a little information this autumn.
Nellie III’s latest transmission was sent yesterday (8th November as I write). She was still in Sweden where she spent the summer. We know weather is a key cue for spring migration and we believe autumn migrations are the same. Her current location (Lake Unden) is experiencing relatively mild temperatures of about 7° C at the moment and I wouldn’t expect to see her move until the temperature drops further.
Fonthill Abbie II, on the other hand, is on her way back. Her breeding site near Veliky Novgorod, Russia is both further away and considerably colder. It is already experiencing sub zero temperatures at night. The last time she transmitted from Russia was 1st October, but we received no further news over the course of October. By 4th November she was in Germany, south of Berlin. This puts her within about 1000 km of her final destination (assuming she will return to her usual wintering site in Wiltshire).