[CT Birds] American Woodcock..Bethany

charles barnard jr chbarnjr at gmail.com
Sun Nov 23 20:30:30 EST 2014


Steve,

I don't know if it was starting to get dark when you and your Lab were out
walking and saw those woodcock late this afternoon, but it may be that they
were doing what hunters once referred to as "dusking. I have seen a dozen
or so woodcock within a short period of time descending from the darkening
sky to land at the edges of old pastures. The story goes that migrating
woodcock would hold in heavy cover during the day and then move out to
feeding areas as it grew dark. Hunters in the old days knew this and would
go "dusking" as the light failed and darkness was near.  "Dusking" has long
been an illegal practice, as hunting game birds has to end at sunset.
 I am sure that anyone who has access to good woodcock cover with old
reverting pastures along the edge could still see good numbers of dusking
woodcock today as the birds move southward to find unfrozen ground to feed
in.

Charlie Barnard
Stratford



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