Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Today is "wild bird sighting" day...on my way to work this morning when I spot a whole big group of turkeys, with several males showing off for the ladies... ..."My tail is biggest!"... "No way, look at mine!"..."You guys are chumps! Look at my sleek feathers!" I don't know if any of the girls were impressed, but I was! Sorry the pics are blurry, but I was shakey (no coffee yet), and if I'd gotten closer, they'd bolt. So I move on, only to see...

...an American Woodcock, scolopax minor!! I knew these birds were around, but I've only seen pictures! So I turned the truck around, but when I stopped he got nervous and began to move away, but not before I managed this shot. The blue/white glowing dot is his eye (the flash went off), but otherwise hard to spot (Good camo feathers). Then later I saw a nice male pheasant, but had to drive on by or be late for sure!! Wonder what I'll see on the way home?

9 comments:

OldRoses said...

And to think I get excited just spotting turkeys. I've never seen a courtship display. Great pictures!

Ki said...

Wow, really neat photos. I didn't know turkeys displayed in such numbers. I'd be shaking too with excitement.

And sighting/photographing a woodcock is amazing. When we lived in Baltimore we saw one flying along the city street obviously lost in the inner city. Purported to be the slowest flying bird with probably the lowest IQ to boot but it must be fairly uncommon...at least I have not seen another. Thanks for posting the photos.

chuck b. said...

Cool!

My friends have wild turkeys on their land about an hour south of me and, delightfully, the turkeys graze on the star thistle seedlings (the newest, nastiest invasive weed du jour...apparently cattle eat it and die), so they don't have a star thistle problem.

They also said they're seeing more turkeys this year than usual and I asked if that meant more mountain lions than usual, and they laughed. They've been dealing with mountain lions for years and years.

lisa said...

Thanks for the comments guys! I never get tired of spotting the wildlife up here...turkeys are especially cool, big birds strolling through the woods like that. There a lot tougher and smarter than they look, too. The way they hang around the roadside, you'd think you could just stop the car and grab one. But stop the car, and they suddenly spring into action and take off. Hunters say they're challenging, too. The woodcock was a really neat sighting...now I want to spot a whip-or-will, cuz' I hear them all the time right by the house. Good summer "stealth mission", I think!

The County Clerk said...

Wow.

I love wild turkeys. I try to go "turkey hunting" once a year. I put it in quotes because I kill animal for pleasure, but I like shotguns. So, the way it goes is thus:

wake up
put on boots
grab field gun and ammo
load field gun
walk around all day
call and look for turkeys
watch 'em awhile
getting cold and tired, shoot some rounds into the sky, CAREFULLY, at nothing
go back to base
eat
drink
clean guns
repeat

I love "turkey hunting."

These photos make me want to do it NOW.

H

The County Clerk said...

That should have said

I DON'T KILL ANIMALS FOR PLEASURE

I missed a DON'T

Different meaning entirely

lisa said...

Thanks for clearing that up, Hank! Humane of you not to kill them, although I hear they are pretty tasty. We have lots of grouse up here, too (spruce and ruffed), one time I had 8 of them dining on corn I'd put out for the squirrels. Hope I can get a good shot of them this year! (Picture, that is. I hear they're tasty as well, but much too beautiful to shoot, IMO.) Of course, if somebody ever invited me to dine on a game bird that was already dead, well, I'd hate to see it go to waste! :)

Gotta Garden said...

Fascinating! I've never seen such! See...and you're educational, too!

That is really something!

JvA said...

Gorgeous birds! Lucky you to have spotted them on full display.