|Can you guess my mystery bird?
|Oh OK, it wasn't really that difficult...
I don't do a lot of running... but when I saw this big brown thing in the net ahead of me, I ran as fast as I could (luckily it wasn't that far). This Woodcock was the first bird I extracted and ringed this year. What a way to start! If things carry on like this I'll be very happy.
I remembered seeing one ringed before but I didn't think I'd ringed it. Well, actually, the blog says that I did, so I suppose I must have! Either way, it's become number 60 on my list of birds-that-I-have ringed.
This Woodcock was an adult. You look at the tips of the primary coverts (check out Javier Blasco-Zumeta's PDF) - if they're pale, it's an adult; if they're the same chestnut-brown as the other bits of the feather, it hatched in the previous spring. You can't really see them in these photos, but look, here's one I made earlier.
Or, if you prefer, have a look at Peregrine's amazing photos of flying Woodcock. This one's an adult, and this one's a youngster.
photos taken with iPhone