Woodcock Surgeon
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Photo by the author.

Photo by the author.

Sunny quiet day. In the evening, I went on a woodcock hunt for the village of Kalistovo, Lotoshinsky District, Moscow Region.

He stopped the car on the edge of the forest and went through the clearing to its end – to the place where the clearing passes through the clearing into the second clearing (throat).

I got up at the end of the first meadow 30 meters in front of the entrance to the second. My faithful assistant on this hunt was Kurtzhaar Darton.

The first woodcock flew 20-25 meters across the meadow, overgrown with birch undergrowth, which I passed, 150 meters from me.

The first woodcock, which passed on the shot, flew from a far second clearing through my throat to my clearing. Shot number 9 shot I managed to get it.

The woodcock fell on an open level place pressed by the melted snow of last year's grass. I was well visible from a distance of about 25 meters. While searching for a bird, Darton ran past the woodcock and could not find it by smell and did not notice it.

I walked up and took the beak of the sandpiper from the ground. Darton noticed the bird only when it was in my hands.

The second woodcock flew at 20.20 from the first glade directly at me "on a bayonet" at the throat of the first glade crossing into the second. A shot of "nine" managed to get it. I walked over and took the bird from Darton standing over him – it turned out to be a wounded.

Looking at my trophy, I missed the next woodcock.

At 20.23 from the first clearing and birch undergrowth the next woodcock pulls on the throat. He put the second mined woodcock on the ground, Darton took him into the mouth, grabbed his gun, threw it up and fired at the woodcock twice, the 9th and 7th, all by. All in a hurry and without precise aiming – that is why a miss.

The next woodcock flew by at 20.28 side, out of the shot.

At 20.34, two toy horses flew over the high birches of the main forest along the edge of the clearing. Tsykali and dive around each other. It was interesting to watch them. At 20.40 another woodcock passed across the meadow, out of the shot. Woodcocks fly both across the meadow, and in the direction of the throat – the transition from one meadow to another.

The next day I started cleaning woodcocks. On one of them I found a spot covered with very thin feathers.

On closer examination, it turned out that it was a sore, covered with a "plaster" from down and feathers of a woodcock. I managed to carefully separate this “patch” from the body of the woodcock and save it.

I thought that under the "patch" will be found penetrating wound into the body of the woodcock and pellet under the skin. Under the “plaster” was healthy, with the remnants of hematoma tissue, near the hip joint of the left leg of the woodcock and the pelvis (I'm not sure about the correct names in terms of ornithology).

After opening (incision) of this fabric with a thin blade of the pellet knife and visible damage to the flesh is also not detected.

The weight of the woodcock was about 280 grams.

It was possible to save the "patch" for further study under the microscope. When viewed, it did not collapse or cut. The "patch" was photographed in a light passing through the thin structures of the "patch" and reflected from the "patch".

Photo by the author.

Considering the “patch” under the microscope, I discovered dried bruises, which indicates the penetrating nature of the injury, while the woodcock stopped the “plaster” bleeding.

Interspersed in the structure of the patch are not only fluff and very small feathers, but also vegetative elements of green color.

The structure of the "patch" resembled in its volumetric composition a reinforced composite material – an anisotropic body consisting of a matrix – feathers, down and vegetable filaments and a filler – "resin" in the form of dried blood and lymph, possibly a different frozen liquid fraction.

Undoubtedly the artificial origin of this "patch". Woodcock consciously created a “plaster” and cured a wound received, possibly, as a result of a hunter’s uncalculated, distant shot.

Perhaps he even removed the grain that had penetrated the skin in this place. It was not possible to prove the last document, but the presence of caked blood in the “patch” indicates the likelihood of such an event.

In photographing the "patch" was used microscope MIKMED-1. Lens APO 10 x 0.30; eyepiece K7x. Nozzle with a magnification of 1.5. The total increase is 105 (10 x 7 x 1.5). More than 140 shots were taken.

The “patch” has been saved, and I can transfer it for further more detailed and in-depth research to interested specialists in the Woodcock group.

Alexey Nikiforov
                     July 8, 2019 at 14:56

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