Thursday, May 29, 2008

Huntley Meadows--In Search of Rails, Part I

The sighting of Virginia Rails with chicks at our local wetlands, Huntley Meadows, has the birding and nature photography community in a tizzy. I've gone several times this week myself. Tuesday morning, I was the only person there for about an hour, which was very peaceful and beautiful but not a successful trip as far as the rails went. I thought I saw them in amongst the reeds, but they were just shadows, not good enough to call. I did see an Eastern Phoebe, a Pileated Woodpecker (far away and I didn't have my scope that day--too bad!) some great views of a Common Yellowthroat pair and and Eastern Wood Peewee, all pictured below. Also, of course, Redwinged Blackbirds, Mallards and Canada Geese. A tree swallow played with a feather, dropping it and catching it. The water is quite high at Huntley Meadows right now, a combination of the active beaver community and big spring rains, so there aren't many shorebirds.

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