Just-barely-spring woodcock…

For over a month now, the woodcock have been making their way further into New England. They arrived in southern Maine a few weeks ago. As the snow has melted away, they’ve crept further north.

And another one!
Woodcock - right over there!

It amazes me how far these little birds travel each year. I’ve read that some them start in New Brunswick and make it as far south as Louisiana. Then they turn and repeat–every fall and every spring. That’s an incredible trip for a bird that’s the size of a softball.

Puck and I start chasing woodcock as early in the spring as we can. Even though we can’t hunt them, I love to get the dog out, give her some birdwork, and just see the woodcock. ┬áBy the end of April the birds start nesting up, so we leave them alone. We’ll go back into the woods around the fourth of July, the same time we start looking for grouse again.

In this series of pics, you can see how much snow is still in our covers, plus the kind of spots where we first find woodcock this time of year. Since woodcock feed heavily on earthworms, they need open, unfrozen ground to forage and feed on.

Still a lot of snow in my woodcock cover
Still a lot of snow in my woodcock cover
Leaves on an Ash? tree
Leaves on an Ash? tree
Point! First one of the day
Point! First one of the day
Point number two
Point number two
There one goes--woodcock on the wing
There goes one--a woodcock on the wing
Bare ground where the woodcock were hanging
Bare ground where the woodcock were hanging
Wild flush, but Puck holds her point
Wild flush, but Puck holds her point
There goes another one!
There goes another one!
Warmer ground with a wet seep
Warmer ground with a wet seep

Recent Posts

5 thoughts on “Just-barely-spring woodcock…

  1. Gregg – great photos, thanks for sharing. Hard to see how the woodcock can be feeding after a long migration with the ground still cold, snowy and/or frozen.

    Cheers, Ham

  2. Those leaves look like the ones on beech trees in my yard. They hand around all winter and kinda stand out in the woods when all the other leaves are gone. That point #2 is pretty charged, nice pics of the dog and the birds.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: