Birders capture first ever picture of Eurasian Woodcock in South India

Photo clicked by birders near Agumbe Rainforest Research station in Western Ghats, Southern India.

Eurasian Woodcock is not a rare bird (there over 15 million globally), and it’s not the first time that the migratory bird has been caught on camera. But according to the birders that captured this rare shot – this is first photo record of the bird in Karnataka and probably in Southern India.

The bird was sighted at around 8:30pm on February 10 near the Agumbe Rainforest Research station, when a few birders where taking a stroll in search of some nocturnal birds – mainly owls.

The team of Shivashankar M, Anup Prakash, Ramit Singal, Dhiraj, Vrinda Lath and Vikranth Singh faintly sighted a bird along their pathway. With the help of a flashlight, the team was surprised to see that the bird they had just spotted was a Eurasian Woodcock, which mostly breeds in the forests of the Western Ghats in winters.

Eurasian woodcock is a nocturnal bird, it is mostly active during dawn and dusk and is rarely energetic during the day.

Also referred to as Scolopax rusticola, this is a large migratory wading bird found throughout Eurasia. It breeds in the high altitudes of Europe and Asia between 2000m and 3600m. Reportedly, the Eurasian woodcock breeds mostly in UK, Russia and parts of the Himalayas.

However, there have been few of sight records of the Eurasian woodcock in the peninsular India (no photo evidence before this), especially in the Wester Ghats, where the species is believed to breed in the winters.

Here are a couple of other pictures of the Eurasian woodcock from Northern and Northeastern parts of India.

Photo clicked by Sahas Barve in the Kedarnath Wildlife Division (2100m), Uttarakhand, India.

Photo clicked by Rofikul Islam in Dirang (2200m), Arunachal Pradesh, India.

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