The Danforth route for woodcock counting

The second night of counting woodcock was uneventful. Most of the stops came up empty. No matter how carefully I listened for the slightest hint of a peent, we counted birds at only three or four stops.

There’s one stop I’ll probably change by a tenth of a mile next year. If I stop one-tenth earlier than the usual four-tenths, I’ll count in a quieter open space. This particular stop has a lot of very noisy wood and tree frogs, and peepers. I heard the first bullfrog croak of the year here. As if the frogs aren’t already too loud, the stream was louder than I remember it ever running even though we hadn’t had much rain.  Changing up one stop won’t make a difference in the remaining stops; they’ll start again at the “normal” place.

Near the end of this run there’s a small house with a large pasture. There are nice looking dairy cows here, and they’re usually near the fence by the road. We’ve seen a lot of turkeys in this pasture and always look for them when we’re there. Two years ago we stopped to count just in time to hear a turkey gobble. A coyote yipped and the turkey gobbled again. The coyote yipped, and again, a gobble. After the third gobble the coyote howled and the turkey…shut up. And people say turkeys are stupid.

You can learn more about woodcock here (pdf file) and here.

Robin Follette

About Robin Follette

Maine Press Association award winner, 2013. Robin's Outdoors, Bangor Daily News, third place in Sports blogs. I grew up with a fishing pole in my hand and have always loved the outdoors. From gardening to hunting and fishing, kayaking, camping, hiking and foraging, most of my time is spent outdoors. I teach outdoor skills as a volunteer instructor for Hooked On Fishing - Not On Drugs and Becoming an Outdoors-Woman. Pro-staff at The Limb Grip. My personal blog is here. I'm currently working on my first book, a collection of short stories based on my outdoors experiences.