Friday, July 15, 2011

Virginia Rail

I made a trip to RNWR today. It had been a while since I had visited and I was hoping to see some juvenile Yellow-headed Blackbirds. I did see some, but I wasn't able to get any decent pictures.
I walked the Kiwa Hiking Trail for the first time since last year. It was actually just the second time for me.
As I walked along the small stream that the trail loops back on, I heard some loud chatter in the tall grass that is growing along the waters edge. I suspected Virginia Rails, but of course, they wouldn't show themselves. They were on the my side of the stream and were literally at my feet.
Then I got the idea that if I looped around maybe I could see them from the other side. This worked out only marginally. I saw one adult creeping along the through the grass and another moving in the grass, but couldn't get a clear view. I was hoping to see a juvenile.
I squatted down and waited a bit and eventually the adult crossed over some matted grass and I got a clear view, but only for a moment and too quick to get a shot off.
Eventually I gave up and wandered back to the other side and then heard another Rail on the other side of the path. They began to call to each other from both sides. This, I decided, was my opportunity. I positioned myself on the path so I was just back a bit from the line that led between them, squatted down and waited, camera ready to shoot. Sure enough, it didn't take too long and the other adult crossed over not far from me. I lucked out as it stopped momentarily and I was able to get some pretty good shots of it. Even the sun was well positioned!

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