With the good weather today I got on my bike and ventured around and checked my camera. As I entered my patch I flushed a Woodcock (Scolopax rusticila) that lazily flew deeper into the bit of woodland. This was a portent of what was to come.
Thankfully my camera, at its new secret location, worked well and I got some great shots of Wood Mice, Badgers, Brown Rats, Magpies, Squirrels and Jays.The shots are so much better that I think I may be able to create a database of Badger faces and attempt to identify individuals.
Most excitingly was some footage of the Woodcock foraging for food.
Woodcock are secretive and well-camouflaged birds. I have never seen one on the ground stationary. I have always flushed them by accident, not knowing they were there or seen them flying at dusk. They have broad rounded wings that are very distinctive, forming deep beats as the bird flies.
In the clip you can see the Woodcock foraging. It uses its long straight beak to probe the leaf litter and soil for insects. They have very sensitive beak tips,
Mainly crepuscular (active at dawn and dusk) they lie up during the day using their cryptic plumage to hide away from predators unless disturbed like I did when they quickly take flight.
On a separate note, I have now begun to analyse the data from my hedgerow camera study and will be filtering in results as and when I make them.