Notes From The Field

Spring Valley Wildlife Area

Rails are notorious from being secretive and skulking. Normally we tend to hear them as they call from the tall reeds and grasses of marshes. As birders we home in to their call or grunts and wait patiently as we watch the grasses twitch and move as the move about, never showing themselves unless absolutely necessary. At times we do get lucky and catch one out in the open or along the edge of the cattails, as was the case yesterday.

As I stepped onto the boardwalk at Spring Valley yesterday morning the first of 2 Virginia Rails raced off into the grass never to be seen again except for the “grunts” they vocalize. Angry at myself for spooking one off and missing a great photo op, I satisfied myself photographing a Sora that was feeding along the edge of the grass, never venturing out too far as these are really spooky birds and will dash back into the thicket in a blink.

IMG_4520Not my best effort, but diagnostic.

As I was growing weary chasing the Sora for the best angle to photograph a Virginia Rail close by started to “Grunt”. I followed the call. Spotted the bird. Crept closer. Now here’s a exceptional effort.

IMG_4565I’ve tried for years to get a decent photograph of a Virginia Rail, and yesterday was that day.

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2 responses to “Notes From The Field

  1. Congratulations. A tough bird to photograph.

  2. Beautiful pics and beautiful birds!

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