Date: 1/7/18 11:02 am From: Christopher Hill <Chill...> Subject: Timberdoodle discussion and cold snap birding
Thanks to all who have contributed to the Woodcock thread. In my opinion, this is the best of this email list - a discussion of a little-known phenomenon in a somewhat obscure bird, a discussion that draws on history, research, people’s personal and professional experiences and probably teaches 98% of us something new and interesting.
This morning in Conway, SC I saw a Woodcock waddle out of a grassy roadside ditch into the woods as I approached. This was near where I had flushed a few before the cold snap, so probably just a locally wintering bird.
In other winter birding, I walked a clearcut in the unusually cold temps this morning (12F when I got up) and was pleased to see that the sparrows, at least, are thriving in this weather. I walked a mile or so and you could have stopped every 50 yards to spish and gotten a fresh dozen, two dozen, three dozen sparrows to pop up to the tops of the grass. Maybe 3 parts Swamp, 2 parts Song, one part Savannah (one flock of chippies and a couple Field Sparrows, nothing rare among the hordes that I could discern). They don’t need no thawed ground or bird feeders! A Hermit Thrush was looking a little cold out there hanging by a ditch.
The flip side was a weakened Wood Stork that succumbed, presumably to the cold and reduced foraging opportunities, on an acquaintance's frozen back yard pond in Murrells Inlet yesterday.