Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Woodcocks in Loudoun County
Well, I struck out with the Woodcocks at Huntley Meadows (not because they didn't show--though they didn't--but because I couldn't find the place), but I wasn't discouraged because I'd arranged to spend a different evening with Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy and the Woodcocks at the Institute Farm in Aldie, VA. And, boy, did these Loudoun Co. Woodcocks put on a show!
As most birders know, it's not easy to get a good photo of a Woodcock because of their fondness for dimly-lit locales, but poor photo ops in no way diminished the experience. This night was all about being near the birds (and some frogs, to be sure). And though some were calling me the Woodcock Whisperer (a badge I wear with pride, entendres be damned), it was no doubt sheer luck that the Woodcocks kept landing within 20 feet of my position. One time I even had to duck out of the way when a Woodcock buzzed by my head, landing a mere 6 feet from me! What an amazing night, what an amazing bird.