Monday, March 8, 2010

Woodcock extravaganza

I decided to try my luck again tonight on the Indiana University cross country (XC) course, looking/listening for American Woodcocks. I wasn't disappointed.

I left home at sunset, about 6:45PM, and walked over to the XC course. By the time I got there (around 7:00PM), the display flights were already underway!!

I didn't hear many "peent" calls, but there were lots of display flights...the most I've ever experienced on the XC course! One bird coming down from its display flight landed almost at my feet!!

I had another close encounter even before I got to the XC course. I was walking down Range Road when I heard a very loud "peent", and then a display flight, not 20 yards away. This was in a relatively small patch of grass just to the east of IU's Ruth Lilly Auxiliary Library Facility. It's basically a construction zone, so the woodcock's display there really took me by surprise.

The birds were still displaying when I left, but I had to leave the XC course earlier than I wanted to, because I could hear someone running their dog in the dark on the XC course. Last thing I need to do is come between a protective dog and its owner in the pitch dark! Bummer!!

One other note. While I was listening to woodcocks displaying, I could hear Killdeer migrating overhead. Interesting to hear two "shorebirds" vocalizing at the same time. :-)

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