The woodcock are back in Maine..

It’s official–spring has arrived in southern Maine. Puck and I flushed a couple woodcock today in a cover just north of Saco.

Puck pointing, first woodcock of 2011
Puck pointing, first woodcock of 2011

A friend of mine once told me that woodcock covers are like restaurant parking lots: they don’t fill up all at once. Instead, one car shows up, then another, then a couple more come trickling in. Before you know it, the parking lot. My friend thought woodcock covert worked the same way.

If that’s the case, the birds I flushed today must have wanted to be the first in line for this spots early-bird special. It’s still pretty cold in Maine there’s lots of snow in the woods. Real spring is still several weeks. By that time, this covert and few other I hit in the spring should be full of birds.

If youre interested in woodcock, check out this site. It’s from Cornell’s ornithology lab and it thick with great info, including an audio track of a woodcock’s call.

The owners of this particular covert did some cutting over the winter. While I’m all for cutting and regeneration, I hate the tree-trash and damage to the ground the process does. This cut wasn’t too bad, and hopefully they’ll be back to clean up the limbs, branches, and junk they left all over the place. When crews leaves this kind of stuff behind, the cutting are treacherous to walk through and great place for guys and dogs to break a leg or impale themselves on a stick.

Puck pointing, second woodcock of 2011
Puck pointing, second woodcock of 2011
Woodcock splash
woodcock splash
Cuttings in my woodcock cover
Cuttings in my woodcock cover

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