Though confining its attention to woods and thickets by watercourses, swamps, etc., much good is effected by the consumption of worms and molluscs, with larvae of insects, inasmuch as pests consumed there prevents "crawlers" and "fliers" on land correspondingly. But the woodcock feeds largely upon ground some distance from wood and thicket watercourses, even hill downs being visited where formerly underwood or furze was cut about a foot in height to a great extent along the ground in the shape of the letter v, at the apex of which an opening would be left where a hair noose would be set, which seldom failed to yield the pot-hunter a nightly supply, as the cock would run along the side of the brushwood, feeding until it was led into the snare. Woodcocks, however, are now so scarce that "pot-hunting" in the manner described is seldom practised. Nevertheless, in Ireland, on Lord Ardilaun's estate at Ashford, in Lough Corrib, more than two hundred woodcocks have been shot in a day.

The Woodcock.

Fig. 121. - The Woodcock.