Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Woodcock along the bayshore

Karen Johnson called me last night to report an American Woodcock in full display near her home in northern Cape May County, thanks to yesterday's relatively balmy weather - it is January, right? We host woodcock watching events every spring, but normally wait until March. This year's Woodcock Dance program will be March 1 from 7 to 9 p.m. - more under programs/daily walks.

In most years plenty of woodcock winter in Cape May, or try. Now and then a snowstorm or hard freeze will force woodcock to forage along roadsides, where many a birder has gotten their life look at this otherwise elusive bird. There is photo of woodcock in just that setting, by Lloyd Spitalnik, in our photo gallery. Unfortunately, after such weather events it is also common to find dead woodcock, but with warmer winters that may be a thing of the past.

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