Sunday, May 16, 2010

Emergence

The woodcock nursery was at the perimeter of a favorite grove on the edge of the western hill, a snug leaf lined depression in the earth under an old birch tree. The camouflaging was superb, and we (Himself and Spencer and I) did not know the nest was there until it was right at our feet and the nervous mother flew up into a maple tree nearby. It is a good thing that we watch the ground when we are walking in the woods, especially in springtime...

Spencer possesses a gentle curiosity, and he merely points such things with a thoughtful expression when he finds them - he never invades a nest, scatters its wrappings or grabs a young bird. He also discovered a wild turkey nest yesterday, and we took a quick photo since the mother turkey was not sitting when we arrived on the scene.

Three of the eggs in the woodcock's nest had hatched out scant minutes before we arrived, and three little ones were snuggled up together to stay warm, still festooned with bits of membrane from their shells. A cautious tiny beak was just poking its way through the shell of the fourth egg (near the bottom of the photo).

We grabbed a few quick exposures and were well away from the place in a few seconds, and we marveled all the way home, thinking that this is one of those happenings that comes along once in a single lifetime if one is very fortunate.

7 comments:

Tabor said...

Wonderful surprise. I just love this. The wildness of it all.

the wild magnolia said...

Splendid! Good kindness karma returning to you, dear Cate, to witness this soft beauty. Not by chance!

Have a wonderful day.

Delphyne said...

How wonderful! I've not seen these birds since being back in the East - what a treat that would be.

Sky said...

such a thrill, and happily gentle spencer is no hindrance to these little bits of wonder. :)

Cindy said...

Well camouflaged indeed. It is a rare thing, and a beautiful sight to greet you on your walk. I love it.

Endment said...

Certainally a treasure to keep in the memory box!!!
I have yet to see them although we know they nest here.

liliannattel said...

How wonderful, and such a lovely tender picture.