Much Ado about Mammals

Woodcock Watch, NJ

20160323_191151-02 A clearing along the Franklin Parker Trail to the South Conservation Area at Schiff Nature Preserve. Photo on March 23, 2016 by Kathleen Farley. Edited with Snapseed.

On March 23, I returned to Schiff Nature Preserve. This time I surveyed the Franklin Parker Trail leading to the South Conservation Area.  Along with me was a recent undergraduate recruit.

We found a clearing that was much closer to water (promising) and hid ourselves in a central brushy area.  We gave it a good hour after the sun set.  We probably had deer rustling in the brush near the water, a number of dogs barking, two very determined, unidentified mammals rooting about in the brush across the way, several bats swooping overhead and a mouse nearly ran over his foot.  But no woodcock.  The joys of fieldwork!

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All Work, No Woodcock

Check out my new blog following my research!

Woodcock Watch, NJ

20160322_193917-01 Moon rise at Laurel Hill in Secuacus. Photo taken by Kathleen Farley on March 22, 2016. Edited Using Snapseed.

So I gave away the punch line.  Last night three teams were out from Woodcock Watch NJ and we all struck out. There were no displaying woodcock to be had at Plainsboro Preserve, Lenape Park in Union County, or Laurel Hill in Se caucus.

Despite the beautiful full moon and the warm weather, none of us could see a single spiral or hear a single peent. Hopefully we will have better luck throughout the remainder of the week – stay tuned!  Like many other organisms (but not all!), woodcock are typically more active when there’s a full moon.

Learn more:
How the Moon Affects the Nocturnal World – livescience.com
6 Wild Ways the Moon Affects Animals – livescience.com
Lunar Phobic Bats Dodge the Moonlight – BBC

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