Today I was determined to find a Virginia Rail. I arrived at Wakodahatchee Wetlands early enough to watch the sun come up. Linda and Richard arrived 10 minutes later and we began our vigil.
If you’ve ever been searching for any of the Rails you’ll know how nearly invisible they can be. Just last week I had a King Rail no more than 20-25 feet away, calling and never did get a glimpse of him.
Today we waited and waited and waited. We heard one call and eventually one jumped across a gap in the vegetation and of course disappeared. Five minutes later another jumped the same gap. Were talking less than one second looks. While we were waiting a beautiful Cooper’s Hawk came in and posed for us.
Eventually Richard gave up and Linda and I continued to stare into every little crack and crevice that might harbor our foe. Eventually we heard one calling very lightly from right next to the boardwalk. I kept getting short little glances of the little bugger but nothing where I could get a shot of him. He started sneaking away and made the mistake of turning around and I got this quick shot of him.
I guess he finally grew tired of all the onlookers … of course every walker who goes by has to ask … “What ya lookin at” and he eventually stopped and posed for a second shot. I thanked God and off he went to be seen no more!
It feels really good when your target birding and your target cooperates. It took a tremendous amount of patience and one of my favorite recent movie lines is from the movie Evan Almighty. In the movie Morgan Freeman (who’s playing God) ask the question “If you pray for patience does God just give you patience or does he put you in situations where you get to practice patience” well looking for Rails requires patience and I’m happy with the results of today.
Thank you for visiting and if you want to see all the species I’ve taken pictures of this year click here!