Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Clear evidence of breeding site fidelity in woodcock

I know we’re constantly talking about site fidelity – but it’s interesting especially when demonstrated so clearly as it is in the maps below (click to enlarge them). It’s obvious that these birds repeatedly return to the same areas to breed – which has conservation implications for the areas where the largest concentrations reside.

As for the question as to why Crugith has not been so faithful– we think she must’ve picked up some sort of injury, disease or parasite that has prevented her from reaching the desired level of fitness. There are no breeding birds in Cornwall so it is impossible that she is breeding there – she’s just sitting out the summer because she could not attain the condition required to return to Siberia. She is still alive as her movement appears to be normal, but there must be some underlying health issue.

It's worth noting that of the birds featured in the maps below, Remy, Amy, Rebecca, Lanyon, Wensum are all females. St. Brendan and Olwen are both of an unknown sex so could also be females. So the site fidelity we are seeing is definitely true of females but we don’t have any data for males – at least not in 2014. Last year, however, we had Monkey - a male who travelled to exactly the same site in 2013 as he did in 2012.


St. Brendan






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Monday, 12 May 2014

GWCT woodcock work featured in new BTO magazine

Our very own Chris Heward has contributed to a piece in the latest issue of the BTO's Volunteer magazine regarding the preliminary results of the 2013 woodcock survey.

The survey is a joint GWCT and BTO effort and with the help of over 800 volunteers, over 800 randomly selected sites were surveyed in 2013.

Read the article online (on page 22) >

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Friday, 9 May 2014

New chart shows latest Woodcock Watch data at a glance

Our woodcock are continuing their journeys across Europe and we've just received location updates for each of them.

The new chart below shows details for each bird and updates automatically on our website and blog as soon as we enter new data:

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Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Rebecca returns to the same patch of forest three years running

Rebecca is the only bird that we have followed through the entire duration of the Woodcock Watch project. Tagged in spring 2012, we have received good-quality data from Rebecca each summer since.

The maps below show just how faithful Rebecca is to a single breeding site. Each year she visits the same forest in Somensk Oblast, Western Russia.

Rebecca was a juvenile when caught in 2012, so we know she hatched in 2011. This means she will be celebrating her third birthday this summer. How many more times will she make this impressive 1,500 mile journey?

Track Rebecca's journey online >

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