Thursday, May 01, 2008

American Woodcock


Can you see it? Probably not at first but if I tell you its in the exact center that might help but still its difficult to find it; for its colour and pattern blends in so well with the dry leaves and undergrowth on this side hill. You can understand then, how surprised and pleased I was to find this secretive bird in full sight walking across the the road as I drove to the top of a hill. It didn't even disappear in flight as my car pulled to a stop to watch it. It was moving across the road in a sort of patterned, repeative movement. First it would jiggle back and forth on one leg, then move its other foot forward. Then it would repeat this back and forth movement again before putting the other foot forward. At the same time I could hear its call, and coming from the other side of the road was a similar sound. Halfway across the road it turned and headed back in the direction it came from; perhaps it had finally became aware of my car there, which I had moved over to the side of the road in case there was oncoming traffic (which there wasn't). It never at any time flew off in a burst of speed, but rather walked into the ditch and up the slight hillside of it. The first photo of this post shows it disappearing into the underbrush. This was really a great photo opportunity.

8 comments:

Iwanttocomebackasmycat said...

Wow, what an incredible bird! If you hadn't told me exactly where to look, I doubt I would have found it. Thanks for your talent!

jan m said...

what a great find, with great photos!

Mary said...

What a wonderful bird! He's a good one for my love of color and pattern in feathers. Are the little grey feathers permanant or some sort of molting? He posed beautifully for you! Outstanding!

Stacey Huston said...

Great photos! thanks for sharing

Sandpiper said...

I've never seen one of these birds, except in pictures and you got some great shots! I like how wrote this post, too.

me and my camera said...

iwanttocomebackasmycat:
I thought it might be more interesting to begin the post with that picture, glad that you enjoyed it. Thank you for your comment.

jan m:
Nice that you enjoyed the pictures. Thank you.

mary:
I think the feathers are permanent. And I agree wih you, the colours and pattern are so beautiful; and the bird blends in well with old leaves; more inspiration from nature for you.

stacey:
Glad that you enjoyed the photos.

sandpiper:
The excitement of seeing this bird so unexpectantly, and to get its picture was really pretty easy to write about.

That you all for your comments. They are much appreciated.

Kingsdowner said...

It seems that you get more than you fair share of birds, deer etc crossing your path. You must move very gently, be very patient, or just be lucky.

We have a European version of Woodcock (without the red/brown chest) which will soon begin their dusk display flights - roll on summer!

me and my camera said...

kingsdowner:
There is a lot of luck involved, for a person just can't make something unusal be there, but also I have added a lot of patience to my nature watching and often wait and watch, whereas previously I may have just moved on if I didn't see anything right away.