Saturday, March 5, 2011
Annual Woodcock Walk finds energetic timberdoodle
Call it a rite of spring, or, in this case, a rite of late winter.
Last night my fellow bog-sloggers and I experienced a purely perfect natural moment. An American woodcock (Scolopax minor) a.k.a. timberdoodle performed his courtship display, his ardent "peenting" song, right on schedule at Forks of the River Wildlife Management Area.
Our annual Ijams "Woodcock Walk" has been a popular event for over 15 years. This year, Jenifer Roder and Emily Boves helped me host the somewhat muddy activity.
At the appropriate hour—twilight, just after sunset—our group was hidden in the cedars surrounding the traditional singing ground to watch it all happen. He seemed oblivious of his voyeurs. He was crooning for a female, a momentary partner to share his lust for life. If he knew we were there, he simply did not care. For he was living in the moment as were we all.
It was a good time.
- Stephen Lyn Bales