Saturday 3 March 2012

Woodcock fruition and frustration

my record shot of the Woodcock
Recently, I've been aiming to see a Woodcock on the deck at the patch. I've only ever flushed them, seen them flying at night or, on a couple of occasions, seen them whizz by in the daytime (presumably after being disturbed by something/someone else). I've been carefully checking a couple of spots where I've regularly spooked them before for settled birds. Today my plan worked and, when I was checking the area with P-Go and his dog Jazz, a beautiful Woodcock was sat there! I got a couple of record shots but it was a little obscured by vegetation so I moved around to get a better angle. I found one where the bird was in absolute plain sight - absolutely exquisite! I called P-Go over but even though we were about twenty five yards away (further away than I've ever kicked one up) it obviously knew it had been seen and didn't like it. It walked through the bush to the other side and flew. BUGGER!!! I was really pleased to have seen it but this thoroughly pissed me off; I would have got a ruddy good pic of that bird and wanted to savour it more, after years of longing to get this kind of view of one... and the damn thing flew even though we knew where it was and we were being careful not to frighten it. Instead, I was stuck with a couple of (in comparison to what I would have got) lame record shots. Damn, damn, damn!!! I should have digibinned it first and/or stepped back and got P-Go to approach from further away just to be extra safe.

I hope it's there tomorrow or some time soon. I know now that the technique I've been using has some success rate so I'm sure I'll get another chance. It wasn't just that I missed out on a good opportunity today that annoyed me, I want to reduce disturbance to the birds in this area because if they're over-flushed they might be reluctant to return to the spot, and I'll have to start the process all over again.

Later on I went to Beddington and finally connected with the female Pintail, a local area and Beddington tick. Also Water Rail and Common Snipe there.