Eurasian Woodcock

Eurasian Woodcocks are very hard to spot, and normally you’ll only see them fly off, because you came too close (without knowing, as you didn’t even know the bird was there). Only in snowy conditions you have a chance. In The Netherlands we hardly have snow anymore, so when last week we had some I hoped on seeing Woodcocks. It became quite a challenge, but finally last Sunday the temps went above freezing, and they came out their hidings to finally feed again on the melting snow and fields. For the full story and more pictures, please check: https://www.hansoverduin.nl/week-o-woodcock/ . I picked this image because it shows the full bird, where normally it often partly hidden. Thanks for any comments, Cheers, Hans

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Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
Nikon D850 with 500mm f4 | 1/1000s | f5.6 | ISO360 | overexposed 1FS | from car. In post processing I cropped the image to some 50% and lighten up the shadows

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Good for you Hans. Your persistence paid off. A very interesting looking bird. An excellent photo for showing off the colorful camo feathering and ome other beauties on your website. i particularly like the ones in the long grass.

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You captured the textures and colors of the bird quite nicely. The snow and grass add a lot and the light looks great. The position of the eye in this bird looks a bit odd, as if it can see better above it than below. I wonder why it evolved this way.

Thanks, @Allen_Brooks - the eyes are a little odd indeed. Set relatively far back in the head, they can cover 360degrees and therefore detect danger from all directions. Strangely enough their ability to judge distance in combination with speed is rather ill-developed, that’s why they often crash into windows and buildings.

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Hans,

Well done. Nice to catch one out in the open. Comp is fine and I hope the woodcock was able to find some worms for dinner…Jim

Fascinating story about these. Yes the climate has been changing and snow is becoming more of a rarity in some places. Really nice composition with good light, detail, and background.

Well done, Hans. I like the setting and this really shows off the upward eye position on this species.