Tony wanted to check on the woodcock he “photographed” on Monday. On the ride out we had a bet on whether she would still be there. As the current rain is supposed to end today and clear out for the next few days I hopefully took the “still there” end of the bet. Fortunately, I was right. I offered to let Tony try to get a picture again but he deferred. The hen never moved as we walked up to her and took three pictures from different angles. Looking back over the calendar it seems likely that she started setting her eggs after April 13. This is the same cover where I first heard male woodcock singing on March 20th. But my understanding is the males arrive early and then sing to attract females as they arrive. This hen probably arrived sometime in the first week of April. We plan to check on her again over the weekend.
In the meantime, both Tony and I are doing yard work with our young dogs and giving the older ones a much needed chance to rest up and lick their various wounds. We will try to stay out of the woods for at least a month and not get really serious about getting the dogs ready for the Fall trials until July. I’ll try to post some pictures of yard work and the bird field as soon as we get our pigeons settled. I’ll also post some more articles from the past issues of Field Trial Magazine as we await the arrival of the first issue of Pointing Dog Journal with the new Field Trial Supplement.