[Bristol-Birds] American Woodcock (Greene Co., TN)

  • From: Don Miller <raincrow@xxxxxxx>
  • To: TN-Bird <TN-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, Bristol-birds <bristol-birds@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, Butternuts <butternuts@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 12 Jun 2006 23:00:35 -0400

June 12, 2006

Greene Co., TN

This evening at around 8:00, I found an American Woodcock in a field edge along Brown's Bridge Road in Tusculum. The site is approximately at the intersection of Brown's Bridge Road and Holly Creek Road. The exact spot was a well-vegetated fencerow defining the border of a hayfield. The fencerow is also bordered by Brown's Bridge Road itself. The bird appeared to have been flushed by our dog.

About five minutes after I saw the woodcock, Alice Loftin, who was standing about a tenth of a mile away, saw four fly past her and settle into a wooded riparian zone of Holly Creek.

This area is primarily pastureland gradually giving way to residential subdivisions and doesn't seem a likely spot for woodcocks in summer. However, it's possible that nesting is taking place not far away in one of several large woodlots. There are also patches of young forest reappearing in overgrown fields nearby. The hayfield where I saw the first bird has been a reliable spot for woodcock display in late winter for several years. Since woodcocks often forage in fields near the woods where they nest, this might be what we were observing this evening. Given the fact that nesting can occur very early, the group of four that Alice saw might contain one or more first-year birds.

Don Miller
Greeneville, Greene Co., TN
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