Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sora Rail

It was another really quick night to celebrate the beautiful weather. We did very little building and were reminded that with warm weather come the mosquitoes. We actually spent a good part of the night watching a bird. I have always considered myself a bit of an amateur birdwatcher. It goes back to my 4H bird project years, when my Grandpa and I put together the best bird nest collection at the Buffalo County Fair. One of these days I will have to dedicate some time to Grandpa Lund, probably the greatest naturalist I ever knew, although then, I just assumed that everybody went on walks to study nature. Anyway, I was quite surprised to see a bird that I didn’t recognize. We first saw it run across the highway intersecting the bike trail as we rode passed and both were amused by what we saw. To me it looked like a very small Velociraptor running across the road with its very low neck, long legs and rump up in the air. We never thought we would get another look at it but decided to sneak over to where we had last seen it. We were suprised when we caught glimpses of it through the grass. It was hard to get a really good look at it but since it stayed right in the same area we think maybe it has a nest close by. When I got home I started keying it down. At first I thought perhaps it was a type of sand piper but none had this bird’s bright yellow bill. Finally, I decided that it must be a Sora Rail based on its appearance, sound and location. I found a really informative internet site about it (and picture) at: . At any rate, it will require further investigation.
Following my pledge to photograph and identify plants in season, my latest subject I believe to be a Shasta Daisy. They have just appeared since we last went out. I am also happy to report that there has been minimal damage since we last went out.

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