Bird brained stories!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

I'm birding in the rain! Happy again!

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You are seeing correctly, don't try messing with your computer's settings; it is indeed a Sora Rail. Granted, a blurry blade of grass has been photoshopped out with marginal success, but it is otherwise the real deal. What's more, along with this one was a second lurking, partially visible between hummocks of dried grasses. But wait! There's more! Earlier in the day, another Sora popped out for quite some time, leaving me speechless and temporarily incapacitated, forgetting I even had that heavy camera hanging around my neck.

The netting of a Sora in pixels was just the proverbial feather in my cap on an incredible day of solo in which I almost chose not to partake. I'd had grand plans to be up before dawn, heading off to a different wetland area in hopes of seeing a Least Bittern reported over the weekend. We'd had some pretty severe thunderstorms last night, I was tired and it was just rather bleak and drippy out today. No pretty light for photography, and I figured the birds would be hunkered down, anyway. So I went back to sleep, then woke with all good intentions of doing laundry and other such exciting tasks of home management.

Then I read my email. One of the members of my Audubon Club reported all kinds of new warblers in her wooded yard this morning, she figured fall out from the storms last night. I couldn't pass up a day like this, I've passed them up all too often due to work, weather or other commitments. I was out the door.

I decided to check out the LaCrosse River Marsh. If nothing else, I knew there'd be families of Canada Geese grazing at trailside, and sure enough, they were. My excitement started well before I even got on the trail, though. Stepping outside my car, I could see the trees were hopping with tiny little birds, high in the uppermost branches. Yellow-Rumped, Palm and Yellow Warblers were spotted right away. Bunches of them. Warbling Vireos were singing throughout the marsh. I knew I'd be out for the long haul today.

I was. It must have taken me two hours to get the short distance from trailhead to viewing platform. Baltimore Orioles, Northern Waterthrush, and oh my! White Crowned Sparrows, tons of them, feeding around the abundant goose droppings. I'd never actually seen them before, but recognized them for what they were from the hours spent poring over my field guides. Here they were, good sized flocks of them all over the place! In the trees, oh my again! Great looks at a Golden-Winged Warbler, assuring me of its id by singing its song that is no match for its flashy good looks.

At the end of this day, one that found me out there taking in periodic drizzles over seven hours, my final tally was 56 species, 13 warblers, all a solo effort, and all but about three id'ed visually as well as by ear. To think I was going to stay home and do laundry. You know what? That laundry is still here. It won't go away. Many of these warblers will.


  • A day to remember!

    By Blogger Duncan, at 2:32 AM  

  • Great shot of the sora...I've never seen one, but have heard them alot when I'm on the pond.

    By Blogger Jimmy, at 11:54 AM  

  • Gwyn,
    What is the "list" and where do you get your pins?
    Great great shot of that sora!
    Lucky you!

    By Blogger Jane Swanson, at 2:37 PM  

  • a great list! soras are cool birds, but I've yet to get a photo of one.. well done!
    See why I go birdwatching in the rain? the birds are still out there :)

    By Anonymous Cindy, at 6:54 PM  

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