[CT Birds] Shelton trails/ baby woodcock

Chasbarnard at aol.com Chasbarnard at aol.com
Tue Apr 27 15:11:27 EDT 2010

This morning I walked a couple of trails in Shelton.  Things were  fairly 
quiet, although I did manage to see and hear my first Black-and-White  
Warbler of the season.  It seems that the advanced leaf-out this spring did  not 
produce any noticeably early arrival of warblers, vireos or  flycatchers.  
They are sticking to the traditional timetable, regardless of  the fact that 
the leaves were well advanced. 
One surprise happened when I accidentally flushed a woodcock from a low,  
boggy area at the base of a steep  slope.  There was a small trickle  of 
water coming down the slope from the rain. Off to the side, under some  saplings 
near the edge of the mini-wetland were 2 very young (probably not  more 
than 3 or 4 days old) American Woodcock.  They froze completely after  their 
mother flushed.  I took a couple of quick photos of them and moved  on.  
Woodcock average 4 eggs per nest, but I didn't check to look for  any other 
young, since the mother obviously wanted me out of there.  There  used to be an 
old tale that a mother woodcock would sometimes carry her some of  her young 
away from danger by pressing the babies between her legs and then  flying 
away with them. That was certainly not the case with this mother and I  have 
no idea as to whether or not that old tale has any merit at all. 
Charlie Barnard

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