Just as a brief postscript to a recent blog about how obvious woodcock have been over the past few weeks, my sharp-eyed wife had the fantastic good fortune to spot a feeding bird a few feet from our kitchen window this morning while I was making breakfast. We managed to get the camera on him just in time before he bustled off, but it was a fantastic insight into the secretive lives of these beautiful little birds. I’ve wanted a good close look at a woodcock in broad daylight for years, and having admired and envied countless beautiful photographs, it’s a real delight to finally have one of our own.
He was keenly riddling in the mud beneath the brambles, bouncing on his hips as if he was spring-loaded. I often think of little pigs when I see woodcock on the ground, and there was something greedily self-satisfied about his attitude as he vanished out of sight beneath the alders.