As the first wintering woodcock arrive on the UK?s eastern shores, the Woodcock Network says it is hopeful of ringing more birds than ever before this winter.

Network founder Owen Williams said: ?We set a record last winter by catching 1,341 woodcock and we now have 30 participating ringers.

?We are seeing a high level of wintering site fidelity, with birds returning to the same wintering location year on year, suggesting that excessive shooting in ?destination areas? may be damaging long-established genetic links with specific wintering locations.? Over the past five years, the shooting community has financed woodcock research to the tune of £275,000, which will ensure that shooting is conducted in a sustainable way in the future.