Friday, March 24, 2006

Vultures & Woodcock But I'd Still Like to See a Sandhill Crane

Two days ago I passed two deer carcasses on Stone Hill Road in my town that had been set upon by black vultures, which I had heard were becoming increasingly easy to find locally but which I hadn’t encountered yet. I was driving so I had to pay attention to the road but I saw at least two at each carcass. They seemed somehow to be less lumbering than the more common turkey vultures, and of course their featherless faces were grayish black instead of the reddish pink of a turkey vulture.

Last evening, at about 6:30, my son and I drove to a place down the road where power lines cut through a fen. It was too cool for peepers or wood frogs but as soon as we got out of the car we heard the peenting of two or three American woodcock and then watched the dark, fluttery silhouette of one flying above our heads.

Still I would have traded both sightings for a look at the six sandhill cranes that birders have seen in recent days in North Canaan, way up in Connecticut’s northwest corner, in the watershed of the Housatonic.


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