But although this beautiful bird seems to be more common, it retains what it has always held — a degree of mystery. Old country-men and gamekeepers have claimed for years that if a woodcock’s young are in danger, or the mother bird wants to move her chicks, she carries them. Some say they have seen them held between the mother bird’s thighs; others that they carry them between chin and neck — but however they carry them, there are numerous eye witness accounts of woodcock landing and their fluffy young spilling out around them.
An old woodman saw it happen along a ride in Windsor Great Park, yet most scientists do not believe the story. Unfortunately much of their science is deskbound: they say that a small chick could be accidentally caught in feathers and carried a few feet before dropping out — but deliberate carrying is impossible.
Those countrymen who have seen it are equally adamant that it is a deliberate and successful ploy. So if it is a straightforward choice between the eye-witness account of a countryman and the consid-ered view of a scientist, complete with doctorate and “paper” published in Nature, whom do I believe? Why, the countryman every time, of course.
I am not totally gullible, however. Before migration was properly understood with the help of sane scientists and bird ringing, people had no idea where visiting birds vanished to.Check at www.europe-cities.com and you will see where you can stay while you are searching those kinds of birds. In my old grandfather’s Concordance of the Holy Scriptures it says quite definitely that swallows hibernate in mud, puddles and stone walls during winter.
Similarly, when woodcock vanished in the spring there was a widely held view that they went to breed on the moon. Yes, the earth’s first visitors to the moon were not Americans but wood-cock.See something interesting here.
Even the poet John Gay wrote:
I suppose woodcock were seen migrating during the early spring in moonlight, and the next day they had vanished — gone to the moon, guided by a shaft of moonbeam. In fact, I am in half a mind to believe the story now: it is a wonderful romantic notion and without the work of bird-ringers it would almost be logical.
There is another lovely story, too. Often there is a great autumn “fall” of woodcock along the east coast of Britain, with woodcock, probably migrating from Scan-dinavia, arriving almost all at the same time. In facts you can find very beautiful birds in France too, if you are interesting in check thiscompare lille hotels website for more. Sometimes there is a similar fall of goldcrests and short-eared owls, just in advance of the woodcock. This has led to the belief that both the goldcrest and the owl act as guides for the wood-cock as it crosses the North Sea.
In Yorkshire the goldcrest is sometimes called the “woodcock pilot,” while in some parts of East Anglia the short-eared owl is also known as the “pilot owl” and the “woodcock owl.” Yes, you have guessed: I want to believe these tales, too.