Mobirders: Today , I walked the Blue Grosbeak Trail and it didn't have alot of bird activity because it was so windy. So I ventured out into my favorite woodcock field to see if I could scare some up. I did manage to flush 6 or 7 Woodcocks from their roosting sites. On my way back to the parking lot, I came upon a Woodcock sitting on the ground near some small trees. I managed to get a quick photo of the bird before it burst into the air. To my amazement, it was a female that was sitting on 3 eggs!  I have found Woodcock nests in this same overgrown field before, but never this early in the year. Most nests I have located with eggs have been in late March or early April. I guess everything is early this year with all the warm weather. You can see photos I took of the nest by clicking on the link below:
I will stay away from this nest until her 4th egg is layed as I don't want her to abandon it. Also, as with all ground nesting birds, once you have been near a nest like this, predators can follow your scent to it and destroy it. This nest is very close to the parking area at the entrance to the Blue Grosbeak trail with quite a bit of human activity. The nest is also close to a deer trail in the field, so I hope all goes well. With all the woodcocks in this area, it would be a great spot to watch for the male's ariel displays and for the "peenting" the follows.
Good birding,
Dave Pierce
St. Louis County

D. Pierce
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