Don’t worry about the woodcock, says GWCT
The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) says it remains hopeful that at least some of the birds in its Woodcock Watch project are still alive, despite a worrying lack of data from the birds? satellite tags.
Shooting Times readers who have been eagerly checking up on the progress of this magazine?s own bird Woody have been particularly disappointed ? it has apparently failed to move from Sweden since June.
However, project organiser Andrew Hoodless is optimistic that the lack of information may simply be a consequnce of the tags? solarpowered batteries running flat.
He said: ?We had assumed that the lack of information was because the birds were moulting in early autumn when they hide in dense foliage. This can obscure the transmission of an accurate signal, but by now the moult should have finished.
?We know that only about 60 per cent of adult woodcocks survive from one year to the next and some of the birds will undoubtedly be dead, but it is likely that the others will have flat batteries.?
The rest of this article appears in the 5th December issue of Shooting Times.