Thursday, March 16, 2017

One woodcock provides a little humor

Of seven woodcocks reported by my coworkers today, one provided a little humor.

On the way down from Lookout hill , when the truck approached the west path terminus with Center Drive, my driver David drew my attention to an AMERICAN WOODCOCK  in the middle of the path in front of the truck. Inching slowly to get it to flush, it wouldn't budge. I had to get out and slowly nudge it to fly, whereby it did , flying left. Where it exactly landed was the funny part. Our supervisor happened to be there at Center Drive's west junction
when the bird landed by him. The woodcock landed outside the door of the Port-a-john! Yes, I can sympathize; the cold does murder on our bladders.

Other reported locations for woodcocks today in Prospect Park are as follows: one at the edge of East Drive across from Nellie's lawn; Matthew Wills reported four in the Vale Cashmere and one by the Nethermead Arches. Unfortunately the Woodcock at the arches a Red tailed Hawk preyed upon.

These woodcocks are vulnerable with their camouflaged completely offset by the snow, sitting ducks we could say it. Also the cold and lack of ability to dig in for food leaves woodcocks starving and stressed or even those flying hitting structures or windows and so on. A tough time for this species when its blizzard casualties.

Other birds on this crisp day include a BALD EAGLE and RUSTY BLACKBIRD. Isaac Grant reported the latter species, a 2nd year eagle flyover and the pair of Rusties at the feeders. I was alerted -though not native--to 3 European Goldfinches in the Propagation nursery area by the park's 9 th Street entrance. These I observed.