Woodcock in snow

An ambition fulfilled today. I found a pair of Woodcock feeding in the snow below a hedge. I sketched them in driving snow showers until I could barely feel my fingers. An opportunity to sketch Woodcock is extremely rare and certainly a first for me. One fed in a very small area(about one square metre) for the whole afternoon. It takes hard weather to force Woodcock to feed by day and we have certainly had that. About ten inches of snow covers the ground. We have had snow cover and continuous frost for 7 days now. It was a great priviledge to watch these beautiful and elusive woodland waders. I have flushed many and seen them on their roding display flights in Spring and Summer but I never expected to have such superb views of one feeding by day. It will be interesting to see if they are in the same spot tomorrow.

Woodcock in snow- watercolour in sketchbook
Woodcock sketches- pencil in sketchbook

4 thoughts on “Woodcock in snow”

    1. As you will see three today, I feel very lucky to be watching these lovely birds. As I watched them today a Waxwing landed nearby and I barely glanced at it because I have seen so many this year. Woodcock in the open may be a once in a lifetime opportunity!

  1. I have only seen a silhouettte of a Woodcock, against an early winter sunset…I guess Ive had my once in a lifetime opportunity.

    PS. I love your tenacity of sketching Snipe in minus 11!! Its cold enough for me viewing the garden through the window.brrrrr!

    1. Keep looking whilst the weather is so cold. The three I have found are in a busy area. They are there because a trickle of spring water keeps the surrounding soil frost free. I never thought I would see them in the open. The key is to find such a place in very hard weather and watch from a safe distance. I have not disturbed the Woodcock as I watch through a telescope. If you don’t see Woodcock there could well be other interesting species in hard weather. Have you seen their roding flights in spring and summer?
      Good luck,

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