Seven hardy birders visited JK Black Oak Wildlife Sanctuary in search of American Woodcocks despite the rain (and snow!) encountered during the day. The group toured the property where we discussed the myriad of projects going on there, including the deer exclusion areas, the bird blind, trail cameras, invasive removals and herpetology surveys. As night approached, from one of the fields we heard the “peent” we’d been hoping to hear indicating American Woodcocks. These fascinating birds are crepuscular in nature and, therefore, the only times to hear them are from dusk to dawn. After hearing several peents, one of the woodcocks took to the air, circling and rising as its wings made sounds in flight. What a sight! We were able to hear three distinct woodcocks during the evening and saw a handful of display flights. However, we didn’t get the greatest of views, because of the late hour and low light, but it was a wonderful marking of the oncoming spring.
To protect the environmentally sensitive habitat and rare species, JK Black Oak Wildlife Sanctuary is not open for general public access.