|Yellow Rail at Anahuac NWR - Samuel Taylor©|
Our leader David Sarkozi has been doing these walks for more than 20 years. He gave a short orientation and explained just exactly what we were getting ourselves into. He pulled out a long rope with milk jugs filled with some material that made them rattle and explained that we needed to march through the grass in a tight formation behind the line. The idea was to flush the rails, which would usually be content waiting out the oncoming traffic or just walking right by Rail Walkers in the knee-high grass.
The morning was unsuccessful for Yellow Rail, but we did get a few Soras.
|Sora after being flushed.|
David instructed us to quickly form a circle around the area where it had dropped down. We thought the rail would come up out of the grass but instead it walked right by one of the other birders and out of the circle.
Amazingly, we got another chance and flushed the rail once more. This time we formed a tighter circle and didn't leave much room for him to walk out. Instead, he allowed us to get some good footage of his yellow-gold plummage.
Thanks to David Sarkozi for the lifetime experience at Anahuac. We had a blast and got to see something that most birders only hope to see. The rare sighting was well worth tromping through the mud, muck and mosquitos.
|Left to Right: Daria and Marcin Kotjka; Arman Moreno; Me|