American Woodcock

American Woodcock pass through Sherwood Island every spring starting around the first of March. Over the years I have flushed dozens of them in the woods near the viewing platform, but I have never been able to get a good look at one, let alone a photo. When they hear or see you coming, they hunker down in the leaf litter on the ground, and their cryptic coloration renders them nearly invisible. You will either walk right by, or get so close they burst into the air on whistling wings and vanish into deep cover. Finally, in March of 2004, I managed to pick this one out of the leaves and got my first photo.