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  • Woodcock nest?

    The boy just came in the house, he’d been doing some weed whacking on the edge of our lawn when a bird flew up in front of him. He mostly saw the movement without getting a good look, then a few moments later noticed this. Fortunately he didn’t trash it but he did kind of expose it a little. Grass isn’t thick there but we keep it knocked down. We pushed up some clippings around the front and stacked a little brush as well. He said it went up around the trees not straight out away. Thought maybe it was a woodcock but earlier this afternoon he also saw a grouse around back in another spot we keep cleared out. Just checked google and the eggs look more like a woodcock. We’ll have to keep a lookout for momma, hopefully she’ll stick around.
    Unfortunately that spot is right in the area my Britts often do there business, guess I’ll need to pay attention when I let them out.

  • #2
    I dunno fitch!
    We get a few "doodles" around here in the fall but seldom enough to make hunting them worthwhile.
    They're more a target of opportunity. I killed two while duck hunting some 40 years ago. Fine eating.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by FirstBubba View Post
      I dunno fitch!
      We get a few "doodles" around here in the fall but seldom enough to make hunting them worthwhile.
      They're more a target of opportunity. I killed two while duck hunting some 40 years ago. Fine eating.
      It’s definitely a woodcock, I had the boy stand guard in that area when we let the dogs out this morning. He couldn’t tell if it was there so I told him to get his binos, it’s eye gave it away. Pretty cool but I think we’ll have to put some chicken wire around to protect it. I’ve got a roll of the 2’ wide stuff for the garden which should keep the dogs out and allow her to get in and out easy. Don’t know if I can get close enough to get pics of the bird and I don’t want to bump her off so going to leave it alone otherwise.

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      • #4
        What a great find. I love this time of year. I remember reading somewhere that woodcock always lay just four eggs; I think that was in an old Gene Hill story.

        I had a big egg-season last spring: I found two grouse nests, one after the hen jumped up and did the old fluttery "chase me, don't bother my nest" act, and the other after the hen just flew straight away like a regular flush. Both had eleven eggs. With that first one, I remembered where she was and steered clear when I was walking in turkey-hunting, but a couple times I went close enough to see her. Both of them were nesting right in the open woods, up against a tree trunk, which was a learning experience for me since I'd always assumed they nested in the thicker brush.

        The second one bothered me a little: The flush happened when I was walking a hiking trail, and when I came back through a couple hours later, the hen wasn't back yet. Or maybe she was in the area and just froze this time when she knew I was coming.

        This year, I did have one interesting egg discovery: One morning turkey-hunting, I found one single turkey egg in the middle of a small clearing. No nest nearby, wide open swampy ground. That was weird. I wonder if she just sort of laid it by accident, like the urge came upon her when she was away from the nest?

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        • #5
          A lot of farmers cut and bail their wheat when it's in the milk stage. Sadly, they also uncover and/or destroy A LOT of turkey nests!

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          • #6
            She's on the nest this evening, this has turned into quite an event for us. We're trying to keep watch without disturbing her. So far she's only flushed due to the weed eater. I still can't believe the kid noticed the nest, but he has eyes like a hawk. I think if we can keep the dogs off she'll be fine. It will be interesting to see how long it takes her to move the chicks once they hatch. I'm really wishing I had a decent camera for this.

            FB, I've started tilling food plots and doing some other land maintenance, I wanted to do some bush hogging to knock back some stuff I do every couple years but decided to wait due to nests and fawns.

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            • #7
              Good idea, fitch!
              Back about '04 or '05, I was swathing some rye (the grain, not the grass).
              The grain was about waist deep and with each pass, a fawn kept running deeper and deeper into the rye.
              I even got off the tractor several times and tried to run the fawn off.
              Yep! You guessed it!
              Swathers do not handle fawns kindly!
              Last edited by FirstBubba; 05-21-2019, 02:06 PM.

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              • #8
                Here she is. Kind of a Where’s Waldo.
                Have no idea if she’s on eggs still or chicks. Would love to see them but don’t want to flush her.

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                • #9
                  Oddly enough these are growing about 20 feet away from the bird. Going to pick them tomorrow, hoping I’m not too late.

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                  • #10
                    They are just plain amazing. That black dot (a hole in a leaf, I think) up near the top -- that's the first thing I spotted and I thought, "Oh, there's her eye, she's right there." Took me another minute before I realized where she actually is.

                    One time after one flushed, I heard rustling on the ground about ten yards away. I squatted down to see under the brush and actually spotted another one walking -- and even as the darned thing was moving, I swear it literally faded in and out of sight.

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