PROMOTING WOODCOCK SURVEY
James O Neill
“Hello all! I am a PhD student studying woodcock ecology. My project was partially funded by NARGC and I am currently promoting a national breeding woodcock survey. Recent data from Breeding Bird Atlas is suggestive of a significant contraction in the range of the breeding population. This survey aims to determine the current distribution of breeding woodcock and to provide a baseline against which future changes can be compared. The survey records the number of roding males in an area of woodland. Please click on the link below to get involved! If you have any questions regarding the survey, please do not hesitate to get in contact with me.”
For more details, and your link to participate, Click this link
Breeding Woodcock Survey - Orithology Group UCC
Take part in Ireland’s first Breeding Woodcock Survey! This survey is the first of its kind undertaken in Ireland and will determine the current distribution of breeding woodcock and provide a baseline against which future changes can be compared…
Update From James October 2020
The Irish Woodcock Project in 2020
What a strange year 2020 has been for everybody. And while uncertainty still abounds regarding the human world, the animal world has been quietly getting on with things as they always have done. Already, it’s good to see that snipe have arrived into Ireland in numbers, and the woodcock will be sure to follow in early November.
As part of our research into the woodcock in Ireland, the Irish Woodcock Project (based at UCC and kindly supported by the NARGC) depends very much on the collaboration and goodwill of the hunting community. Unfortunately, the pandemic put a stop to the woodcock roding counts in the spring and summer, which was very disappointing. However, coming into the winter, there still ways are you can help this project in 2020/2021.
We are interested to find out where our woodcock migrate from to reach Ireland, and this can be done through chemical analysis of wing feathers. If you hunt woodcock, I would ask you to strongly consider saving a wing off each and every bird you hunt, and submitting them either directly to me or through the NARGC. It is of UTMOST IMPORTANCE that the wings you submit for this purpose are labeled with the DATE and COUNTY shot – any wings without this information will be useless for our research. The more wings we receive with this information, the better quality and more interesting the research results will be. Please spread the word about this amongst club members and woodcock enthusiasts, as the success of this research relies entirely on your input.
In a similar vein, please also consider using the new NARGC website to enter your bag totals from this and last season. Gathering such information will be very important going into the future to ensure the sustainability of the woodcock and of the sport.
In addition, over the next couple of years, we are planning to use GPS tags mounted on woodcock to track their winter movements from November through to March. This has never been done before in Ireland, and so far, we have tracked 17 woodcock in the winter of 2019/2020 and the results so far have been ground-breaking and absolutely stunning, showing never-before-seen detail of what woodcock do and how they use the landscape and habitats around them. To get the best results from this, we want to tag and track as many woodcock as possible, and we are making an appeal to RGCs to consider donating funds to allow us to purchase and use these tags in Ireland so that this important research may continue.
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org