Signs of Spring: Woodcock, Snipe and Snowdrops

Well, it may be cold and windy outside with snow spitting flakes into my eyes as I go out to the compost pile, but I have incontrovertible evidence that Spring is Here! On Monday we went to a nearby Christmas Tree farm to hear American Woodcock (Scolopax minor) “peenting” (their song) and performing their fantastic courtship displays, which displays are accompanied by a cascade of twitters and wing whirrs.  They are recently arrived and, because they eat worms, they need to wait until the ground has thawed enough to let them access their food source.  Sad to say, I got no pictures as the show takes place at dusk, too dark for my camera.

Wilson's Snipe, a Harbinger of Spring

Wilson’s Snipe, a Harbinger of Spring

I was luckier in photographing the also newly arrived Wilson’s Snipe (Gallinago delicata) as they feed in daylight.  He was near a culvert poking around in the outflow for food, which includes plants, worms and insects.  Their cryptic plumage makes it easy to lose sight of them in the grass and leaves but we managed to get good looks with patience.

My last sign of Spring is my Snowdrops.  Just a few days ago their spot had remnants of a snowdrift, but today, here they are!

Snowdrops (Galanthus)

Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis)


4 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Denise said,

    I can already feel the stirrings of spring fever. Your photos are making me long for the outdoors.


  2. 3

    Peg said,

    Loved the Snow Drops – thank you!


  3. 4

    jacque said,

    Would have loved to see that woodcock display.


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