So, Friday night I headed out with a few friends to scout for woodcocks for the next Birds and Beers--we had success and found at least three woodcocks. Above is a very blurry photo of one of them. Birds and Beers is an informal gathering of birders of all abilities to meet with others, have a beverage, and talk some birds. You can promote an upcoming bird event or website, share research, look for a birding buddy, or just learn what this birding thing is all about. It's relaxed and fun! Normally, we do this at a pub, but we're so excited to get out in some warm weather, that the next gathering is going to be combined with some fun birding: watching woodcocks!
The next Birds and Beers will be Wednesday, April 22 at Lebanon Hills Regional Park. The woodcocks start their display about 15 - 20 minutes after sunset, which means they will start around 8:30pm. Since the display area is next to the visitor center at the park, we'll meet there starting about 6:30pm and have an old fashioned tailgate party--you can come early to mingle or come closer to magic hour. Bring your own food and beverages and we'll laugh until it's Woodcock Time. The park closes at 10pm, so this gives us plenty of time to get some great birding done.
Looking at the park rules, I can't find anything that says "no alcohol period" but I did find rules that say no alcoholic beverages at the beach or trails, so use good judgment, this is a family park and it's no fun running through brush in the dark looking for a small brown bird if you are toasted.
If it is pouring down rain on April 22, this event will be postponed to the following Wednesday, April 29.
If you are unfamiliar with how to watch woodcocks, here is a video that Non Birding Bill and I made a few years ago for Eagle Optics. This is fun birding, I've taken a few non birders and they've all had a great time:
The friends who went out with me on the scouting mission included a couple of kids. One even made me the cutest thank you card:
I love the little woodcock head in the binocular view. She has them saying "Mah" as opposed to "peent" which just cracks me up. My absolute favorite part is the little portrait of me down in the right hand corner:
It's me demonstrating how to cup your hands behind your ears and opening your mouth--this increases your hearing by 40% (partially because you aren't talking while doing this).
Spread the word for the next Birds and Beers, should be a blast!