Coming your way

I ran my dogs yesterday. 45 min run across the street in alot of native grass with some low spots. Woodcock everywhere. The most I've ever seen in one spot here in Missouri. Michigan last fall I saw a few but we missed the migration so I was told. But my findings yesterday tells me they are heading back north.
 

Miforester

Member
Yeah there have been reports of some birds in lower Michigan, we still about a foot of snow on the ground where I'm at so it will be a little while before they get to me. Early arrivers usually get a rude dose of wet snow shortly after they arrive. I have seen birds at rivers edge on the only patch of ground without snow.....they are not designed for snow. Looking so forward to having them return and getting the pups out for some work.
 

Ranger Rick

Member
With the weather we're having, woodcock coming back are about the farthest thoughts from my mind!!!

I had a customer fly into Wausau yesterday afternoon. He's on his way up to South Range to buy birdseye hard maple. I picked him up at his hotel and he's got no coat. Didn't bring one. Wearing nothing but a sweater and this morning was below zero.

I have a flowering crab in the front yard. The cedar waxwings come in around this time and clean off the frozen apples, turning the snow underneath blood red. They haven't appeared yet, which tells me we still have some winter to live through. The early robin arrivals will go at what the waxwings leave behind and when I see them I know the woodcock are back, too. I think it's going to be a couple weeks, at least.
 
With the weather we're having, woodcock coming back are about the farthest thoughts from my mind!!!

I had a customer fly into Wausau yesterday afternoon. He's on his way up to South Range to buy birdseye hard maple. I picked him up at his hotel and he's got no coat. Didn't bring one. Wearing nothing but a sweater and this morning was below zero.

I have a flowering crab in the front yard. The cedar waxwings come in around this time and clean off the frozen apples, turning the snow underneath blood red. They haven't appeared yet, which tells me we still have some winter to live through. The early robin arrivals will go at what the waxwings leave behind and when I see them I know the woodcock are back, too. I think it's going to be a couple weeks, at least.
Went out yesterday to the same area but different spot around the lake and found 4. All offered what would be shots in regular season. Dogs are having fun with them.
 

Ranger Rick

Member
I spoke too soon yesterday. After work, my wife and I preparing dinner, I was at the kitchen sink, looked out the window to see a big flock of robins gorging on frozen crab apples. I think it's the first time they've been here before the cedar waxwings.

And for good measure, those poor little bastards had 7* this morning. Even though temps in the high 20's now, snow is melting. One has to wonder how they make it in cold temperatures and what else they find to eat.

The robins will eat things like frozen crab apples. Does anyone know what a woodcock will eat now with the ground frozen?
 

Ranger Rick

Member
Saturday afternoon the cedar waxwings were going at what the robins left behind, mixed in with a bunch of robins. It was a feathery free for all out there.

Max and I took a hike in the river valley yesterday. I wondered about running into woodcock. The ground was frozen hard. Snow in the woods yet. The river had tried breaking up a while back, but big ice flows bunched together and froze up. With rain a couple weeks ago the river overflowed it's banks, leaving debris behind. No woodcock.

With the robins and waxwings here I'm thinking spring can' be that far off, unless you're in the UP.
 
Ran the dogs yesterday for 2 hours. Made it all around the lake. It was 81 degrees. Very wet and swampy. Put up 13 woodcock in the 2 hours. Could have been more but I'm being conservative. I know some were the same bird that we put up 2 or 3 different times. Usually on the second flight it would fly behind us. Two flew over my head in the parking lot after I had the dogs loaded. Found three deer sheds too. No pairs, three different sides. Dogs found 2, I found 1.
 
Last edited:

Ranger Rick

Member
Saturday evening, the Mrs. and I drove out to one of my productive young Aspen stands. Hoping to see male woodcock performing, we walked an old skid trail back into the woods, but were there too early. Walking back out a tom started gobbling a little ways off. He gobbled like crazy for about 15 minutes.

Sunset at 7:22, about 7:30-7:35 we hear the little guy peenting. Walked in to about 40 yards near the little clearing where he was calling like crazy. Saw him do his flight 3 times, dive bombing back to the clearing again to call. Didn't see any female appear for him and left because it got too dark to see.

Walking back out a woof started howling in the distance.

Over a period of 40 years, 4 setters and hundreds of woodcock in the bag, I've never taken the time to see this happen. It was very cool to witness. I love the smell of the spring air after a long winter. Spring is on it's way now, for sure.
 

Miforester

Member
Yes it is a fun flight and display to watch, I try to get as close to the area on the ground where they and to watch their funny little strut and peenting. They are a cool little bird to watch and hunt.
 
Top