Scolopax rusticola – CYFFYLOG – Winter visitor and passage migrant.
Woodcock are probably one of the most common waders in the county during the winter, according to work done by Paddy Jenks with the Pembrokeshire and Teifi Ringing Groups. However, they are rarely seen, let alone counted, because of their secretive and generally nocturnal habits.
Paddy and his team ringed a total of 1653 woodcock between November 2008 and March 2019. 107 of these individuals were recaptured or recovered. The recaptures show that many individuals have a very high site fidelity. The ringers often found birds within a hundred metres of where they had been caught either the same winter, or in previous winters.
The recoveries outside of the UK show that many individuals wintering in Pembrokeshire originate in Russia. In Europe, it is illegal to shoot during the breeding season, so most of the recoveries from closer to home are probably birds on autumn migration, though some could have bred in these areas.
The ringing groups hope to continue with the project into the future with the aim of collecting as large a sample size as possible, so that any future changes can be discerned.
The full report can be seen here
Information provided by Mike & Theresa Sherman