Chirps and Cheeps

A Photo Journal of My Birding Adventures & Observations

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  Virginia Rail at Beaver Meadow

Published: June 25, 2013
Tags: Life List Happenings, Virginia Rail, Scarlet Tanager, Veery, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Mourning Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Red-eyed Vireo, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Green Heron, Wood Duck

A short trip to Beaver Meadow this morning brought the Virginia Rail I was seeking this past Saturday. This life bird was much smaller bird than I had pictured - but what loud and interesting sounds he makes! I could hear them way before I ever spotted them.

One little guy came in quite close to me and I even got to watch it running through the vegetation surrounding the pond. Very cute! I read that this rail escapes danger by running, rather than flying. One would think that it doesn't fly well, but that isn't true at all; he flies very long distances during migration each year.

Apparently, the Virginia Rail is a reclusive bird. Oddly, I got some nice looks at two of them this morning - but maybe because it was feeding time. Whatever the reason, I'll take it!

I enjoyed watching a few youngster Wood Ducks swim by. They had the cutest little cheeps and paddled to beat-the-band when they felt they needed to get out of sight. Super cute!

I took a short walk around one of the trails to see if I could find the Lawrence's Warbler again - but no luck - AGAIN!  I did find a pair of Mourning Warblers, though, thanks to Tom Kerr's and Tim McIntyre's instructions.

A Veery was perched about 10 yards off the path and didn't even move as I walked past. Two Green Herons were roosting in some pine trees nearby; it took me several minutes to figure out the strange calls I was hearing from them. Half the time I never figure out these mysteries - but this time, I finally narrowed down that call.  AND - a few minutes later, I actually got to see the herons fly off. They threw me off by being in a grove of pines, so I was kind of proud of myself when I saw I had the right call attached to the right bird.

On my way out of the woods, a beautiful male Scarlet Tanager flew overhead and stopped on a branch right in front of me. Wow!  The darkened skies and deep forest didn't give me much light to work with, but I got off a couple of quick shots and hoped for the best!

All in all, it was a nice morning for such a dreary weather-day...

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Virginia Rail - today's life bird

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Virginia Rail running across the mud flat

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Virginia Rail hiding in the reeds

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Virginia Rail coming out for a little foraging

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Mourning Warbler

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Mourning Warbler

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Mourning Warbler

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Mourning Warbler

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Scarlet Tanager (male)

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Scarlet Tanager (male)

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Chestnut-sided Warbler

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Chestnut-sided Warbler

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Eastern Towhee

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Baby Wood Duck

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Veery

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Veery fledgling (taken the day before in Sheridan, NY)

Reply from: Sue on 6/28/2013 7:36 AM
 Thanks, Tim – and thanks for your pointers on the Mourning Warbler. Between you and Tom K, they paid off! I was very happy to have some lengthier views of the little guys. My first-time look at a Mourning Warbler was too short and way too dim of light and, even though lighting was still dim the other day, it was still a lot better. Thanks! ~ Sue
Reply from: Sue on 6/28/2013 7:35 AM
 Thanks, Lynn - that rail was so cute - I fell in love with those guys!
Reply from: Tim on 6/26/2013 9:52 PM
 Congrats on your finds Sue and great pics as always ! Tim
Reply from: Lynn on 6/26/2013 6:34 AM
 The Virginia Rail has such long feet! What an interesting bird. Your photos came out nice, despite the dark day.
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