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The Woodcock( Creabhar)  39p  

The Woodcock is a game bird keenly sought by the specialist hunter. Although it is grouped with the waders and is closely related to the Snipe. It is largely nocturnal, lying up during the day deep in woodland cover. Woodcocks breed in Ireland and it is thought that the spread of coniferous plantations – now covering over 5% of Ireland – has aided the increase and spread of the native population.

In late October and November large numbers of Woodcock arrive on the east coast, from their breeding grounds in Britain Scandinavia and north-west Russia. Some individuals return each year to the same wintering site, while others may overwinter in Ireland one year and in France or Iberia the following year. The breeding birds may best be seen at dust on a May evening when engage in their territorial/courtship flight known as "roding". Brooding woodcocks are territorial( protect their area) and the male flies around his "beat" at dusk.

It is a medium sized bird and is very dumpy in shape with broad rounded wings and a short tail. The bill is very long and straight, which is very suited for sticking into soft ground to look for food. Is is a rust colour and both male and female look very alike. 

Issued on October 5th. 1989 as part of the "Flora and Fauna" Series.                 

Written by --: Declan King

             Click on the stamp to hear the sound of the bird