This Thing Called Courage

Friday, April 20, 2007

Here We Come a Timberdoodling

OKAY, I MAY AS WELL JUST ADMIT THAT UNTIL TIMBERDOODLE SEASON IS OVER (which I don't know exactly when that will be) I'll probably be writing about them. As those who are still with me on this may remember from previous posts, rumor has it that the American Woodcock lives right down the street, in Greenwood Field, a small soccer field/playground thingy right down the street. I went down there Saturday night (the first night I heard about this) as well as Monday night and Thursday night-- no dice yet, but all those nights were very raw and cloudy, when the ritual is not as liable to happen. So tonight I'm hoping for results! As I write at 5:40 pm it's sunny and a lovely 59 degrees. I was reading a bird book last night, and in the author's accounts of watching for the woodcock, the male began his peet peet peet calls, which precede the mating flight, exactly at the moment of sunset on several occasions-- tonight's sunset is at 7:31, so I'll plan on being down there by 7:20. Last night, I was there from 6:45 (admittedly way too early) and a young girls' soccer game or practice was in session. I mentally shooed them off the field, and they, surprisingly, complied shortly thereafter, big fat SUV's coming to pick them all up. Then a guy came by with an unleashed dog later, and off into the woods off to the side they went (unleashed dogs are of course verboten in The Fells, but alas too many people ignore that, especially the ones with big dogs, hence, I never go into the Fells with Fionn alone, though I used to with Biscuit.) He left after about 30 minutes. I was just about to go home when a car pulled up and two very nice people, a man and a woman, about early sixties maybe and the bird watching type by the looks of things, got out and starting hanging around. They, too, were looking for the Woodcock and in fact the woman was doing a breeding survey for Audubon and this was part of her section. We waited together for about 25 minutes before finally calling it quits at about 8:10 or so.'s hoping for a sighting tonight, which I will of course duly report. If he doesn't show tonight, I'll try the old 90 mm gun site in the restored meadow on the other side of the Fells (the Lawrence Woods, in medford) on Sunday night.

Wednesday night we saw Matt and Shanno Heaton perofmr at Club Passim, along with Nightingale, a trio from Vermont combining Celtic, French, Quebecois, Scandanavian, and other influences-- what a great concert it was! Tomorrow night we are going to see the amazingly wonderful Loreena McKennet at the Wang Center-- can't wait!


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