Tim writes: Living all my life in the north I see lots of roding Woodcocks but this is the only half decent photograph I have ever managed to take. After sunset males start to become active and perform spectacular display flights known as roding. This special flight has slow motion flickering wing beats accompanied by some bizarre noises. The most obvious noise is a high pitched atchoo, like a pixie sneezing (I imagine!). But in the background they make a barely audible guttural rumbling quorr-orr-orr that I can only hear when they fly close. Photographing them isn’t easy as the light has gone when they start up, and they never stop moving. The photo is a little grainy but I decided to post as I don’t see too many photos of roding Woodcocks.
This one was photographed on some scrubby moorland in the Peak District National Park. The light is poor so I used a small lens and crossed my fingers that the bird would fly close before the light faded too much.
Taken with Nikon D7000 and Nikkor 18-200mm at 200mm f5.6 1/250 ISO 3200
Mark writes: Chris Packham’s petition calling for a moratorium on shooting of Woodcock, Snipe and Golden Plover has now had a government response. It’s definitely still worth signing this petition which is approaching 15,000 signatures.