Twice we've tried to see woodcocks doing their aerial acrobatics, twice we've been skunked. Sunday evening at Lebanon Hills in Eagan, Sharon Stiteler led a group of 30 or so up the road, up the hill through the tall grasses to watch the performance. Steve Weston had actually seen them doing their diplay at that location. Expectations were high.
A Great Horned Owl hooted from the trees. Its silhouette could be seen in the tree on the left, before it moved off. As we stood in the darkness at the top of the hill, a Barred Owl started to call. Then, there is was, the "beeep" followed by his flight and the twitter as he flew up high into the night sky. A woodcock !!
Everyone rushed to his takeoff spot in expectation that he would land there. He landed in a different spot. We played the game for about 20 minutes before heading back to the parking lot with stories about how close he came to the spot where we stood.
Awesome. It was a thrill to actually see the acrobat doing his thing !