Thursday, March 14, 2013

American Woodcock and Fatherhood

This bird is Life Bird #258 but its so much more than that. I can say unequivocally that it was my strangest and most memorable birding experiences. Since I've never seen one of these little guys I didn't quite know what I was looking for. I imagined a land-locked Wilson's Snipe that for some reason comes out at night.
I arrived at Rock Meadow in Belmont about 80 minutes too early. If I had just looked around the inter-nets a little more I would have found a very explicit set of instructions from Bob Stymeist from yesterday. I froze my butt off for 90 minutes and just as Bob had predicted I heard a one "peent" around 7:07pm. Then another. Then another. Within five minutes, lots of "peents." More than five, less than twenty. Coming from all around me. I soon found that I was practically standing on Woodcocks. Periodically they would burst, straight up into the almost dark sky. Their flight reminded me of those little flying toys we got as kids from the dollar store. You know the ones that look like a helicopter blade: You wind them up then push the button and the climb straight up into the air.  I stood in the middle of a field, with birds bursting into the air, twittering away. It was dark but still a sensory overload.

Today I saw my first American Woodcock. Tomorrow I become a father.

American Woodcock (I apologize to this guy for the flash. I didn't mean for it to be on)

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