Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Mucking Around in the Mud

Here is a juvenile Virginia Rail mucking around in the mud. We visited the Fairview Wetlands in Salem yesterday morning and found the water lever low exposing lots of muddy areas. Virginia Rails were in abundance drilling into the soft mud with their large bills to find some kind of food. Virginia Rails, although easy to hear, are normally hard to see, preferring to stay out of sight in tall grass and sedges. Yesterday was one of the magical moments when we were at the right place at the right time and we actually saw a record seven of them in the open plus heard at least another three. Also working the mud were three Killdeer, one juvenile Spotted Sandpiper, and one Greater Yellowlegs, but the high numbers were the Virginia Rails.