We've been following the fascinating migration of the woodcock via the data provided by the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust.
Our last Woodcock Watch update was in November; as the low levels of sunlight make it difficult to charge the solar-powered batteries within the tracking device.
Celebrating the return of Knepp
One tag, which had been inactive for five months due to these conditions, was exposed to just enough sunlight to rechardge the battery and transmit new data. This tag belonged to Knepp, a woodcock named after being caught and tagged at Knepp Castle. The data transmitted by Knepp's tag showed that the bird has successfully completed its winter migration and retuned to Knepp Castle at the beginning of February.
This highlights the woodcock's site-fidelity and loyalty to specific breeding and wintering sites. More recent data from the following weekend (7-8 Feb) showed that Knepp was still enjoying life at Knepp Castle. To track Knepp's most up-to-date movements, visit the GWCT website.
Woodcock spring migration
The GWCT have also ordered new tags for the tracking of the woodcock's spring migration which will be broadcast from March onwards - we'll keep you posted!
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(images courtesy of GWCT)