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Eurasian Woodcock - Rugde - Scolopax rusticola
Morkulla - Skovsneppe - Lehtokurppa - Waldschnepfe - Bécasse des bois - Chocha Perdiz

Woodcock are a widespread breeder in Øygarden; they are also common migrants in both spring and autumn. Many attempt to overwinter in the area and are often seen during periods of hard weather. This species is incredibly difficult to photograph under normal circumstances.

The bird pictured below had got itself stuck in a wire fence - thus presenting a rare photographic opportunity.

Woodcock - rugde
Picture taken at Herdlevær, Øygarden, 10 February 2009

Woodcock, Hjelme West, Øygarden
Cold snaps bring Woodcock to the coast (often from much further afield) and also concentrate them on any unfrozen areas. This bird was found by following tracks in the snow. I managed to take this photo without flushing the bird.

Woodcock are one of the hardest hit species in periods of cold weather. The winter of 2009-2010 eradicated the entire overwintering population in Norway. Finds like this were common:

Dead Woodcock
Dead Woodcock, Hernar, February 2010

Woodcock are not uncommonly seen offshore during their crossings of the North Sea - they are quite a typical November migrant. They often come in at high speed as they evade the attentions of marauding gulls.

Migrant Woodcock in the southern North Sea

Above and below: Migrating Woodcock, German sector of the North Sea, November 2011

Migrant Woodcock in the southern North Sea

Woodcock rode at dusk and dawn and often the light is not too great for photography. A camping trip in Engerdal, Hedmark in June 2018 presented a decent opportunity but I mostly just sat there and enjoyed it....

Roding Woodcock, Engerdal, Hedmark, June 2018

Roding Woodcock, Engerdal, Hedmark, June 2018
Roding Woodcock, Blakkstøtlandet, Engerdal, June 2018

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