During winter, Woodcock may be the most numerous wader in Wales, but what is the extent of our breeding population? The breeding distribution covers much of Britain, though a considerable reduction in range has been indicated, and it is now amber listed as a bird of conservation concern.
Woodcock is our only wading bird adapted to breed in woodland, both broad-leaved and coniferous. Nocturnal habits and a cryptic nature make it difficult to monitor the breeding population using traditional surveys. A special survey method therefore, has been devised which uses counts of territorial roding flights, undertaken by males at dusk and dawn, to estimate the number of individual males present.
The first breeding Woodcock Survey, undertaken in 2003, estimated a breeding population of 78,000 males in Britain, providing a baseline against which to assess future population change. The results of the 2013 Woodcock Survey will be crucial in determining the extent of changes to the breeding population size and distribution.
In our region we have been allocated two 1km survey squares, but there is scope for us to cover additional ones. Please get in touch if you’d like to get involved. You may discover some Nightjars during your visits too.
tel: 01443 430284