Thursday 15th October comments: Over the last few days the winds have switched to the north with a hint of north-easterly which has brought more migrant birds to the island including those which are leaving Scandinavia to escape the harsh winter weather to overwinter in the UK.
During this weather spell we’ve had several Woodcock across the island. These cryptic woodland dwellers breed in the UK but during the autumn these birds are bolstered by migrants from continental Europe. These birds are escaping the worst of the weather to the north and east of the UK as Scandinavia and Russia has the vast majority of breeding European Woodcock and they’ll move to warmer climes including the UK. Having overwintered, they’ll then return early the following spring when we can get one or two on the island as they head back.
These great birds are a joy to watch as they often ‘explode’ underfoot (erupt out of the vegetation within a few feet of you) whilst you walk around the Isle. However others can be seen in some unusual places sometimes on the rocks as the photo shows above. We wish them well and over the next 2-3 weeks we’ll expect plenty more as the Woodcocks are on the move!