Virginia Rail and Sora

The following birds were photographed at Hendrie Valley:

Yellow Warbler

Yellow Warbler

Red-eyed Vireo

Red-eyed Vireo

Juvenile Blue Jay

Juvenile Blue Jay

Juvenile Wood Duck

Juvenile Wood Duck

Green Heron on the hunt

Green Heron on the hunt

Green Heron stretching wing

Green Heron stretching wing

Belted Kingfisher

female Belted Kingfisher

Last Saturday we pulled over on Eastport Drive. A gent was busy photographing the cormorants when we arrived. Such was his displeasure that he stopped taking photographs and set his face to the most miserable look he could find. A bona fide humbug.  We ignored him as we did not disturb the family of cormorants he was photographing nor did we block his view of them. We took our photographs and left.

Partial view of Double-crested Cormorant colony on Eastport Drive

Partial view of cormorant and gull colony on Eastport Drive

Double-crested Cormorant

Double-crested Cormorant

Black-crowned Night-Heron

Black-crowned Night-Heron

Black-crowned Night-Heron on a nest

Black-crowned Night-Heron on a nest

Windermere Basin was our next stop. Here a Green Heron was sunning on a log.

Green Heron sunning on a log

Green Heron sunning on a log

The following day we headed to Kerncliff Park to try for Virginia Rail and Sora. Both species breed here. They vocalize loudly but run about silently.  You always have to be at the ready as you never quite know where they will appear.  A second pair of eyes on the marsh was most helpful.  This Virginia Rail gave us gripping views.

Virginia Rail walking in marsh

Virginia Rail walking in marsh

Virginia Rail in marsh

Virginia Rail in marsh

Virginia Rail enjoying the warmth of the sun

Virginia Rail enjoying the warmth of the sun

Virginia Rail stretching wing after preening

Virginia Rail stretching wing after preening

Virginia Rail

Virginia Rail

In due course, I photographed lifer no. 213, the Sora.

Sora

Sora

We hit the trail for City View. Along the route we saw Northern Flickers, a female Red-breasted Grosbeak, Eastern Towhee, swallows and a singing House Wren.

House Wren singing

House Wren singing

Yesterday we headed to Fort Erie to photograph Purple Martins. There seemed to be fewer martins this year.

Purple Martin house

Purple Martin house

Purple Martin nestling longing for parent's arrival

Purple Martin nestling longing for parent’s arrival

Purple Martin nestling waiting to be fed

Purple Martin nestling waiting to be fed

male Purple Martin

male Purple Martin

Purple Martin with insect

female Purple Martin with insect

After this we headed to Mud Lake Conservation Area in Welland. We tried birding at this spot about two years ago but turned back because (1) the trail was swarming with mosquitoes, and (2) a visitor found ticks on his person. This visit, maybe one or two mosquitoes. Great Egrets were the target. We found four.

Four Great Egrets

Four Great Egrets

Great Egret with fish

Great Egret with fish

As shorebirds were well out of camera range we focused on frogs.

Frog

Frog

Another green frog

Another green frog

I see you

I see you

There were four Osprey at Hendrie this morning. As none were hunting, I spent time acquainting myself with Turkey Vultures. At least 20 Turkey Vultures were variously soaring, roosting, preening, ambulating, and resting.

Turkey Vulture

Turkey Vulture

Turkey Vulture preening

Turkey Vulture preening

14 Turkey Vultures

14 Turkey Vultures

They had no qualms sharing their favourite tree with a rather vocal Osprey.

Osprey (but for the branch...)

Osprey (but for the branch…)

In this heat, birding early in the morning for short periods, preferably close to water, is the best strategy.

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2 thoughts on “Virginia Rail and Sora

  1. Gorgeous photographs! The one of the Rail stretching its wing made me smile – I have a photo of one in the exact same pose. And congratulations on no. 213 – the Sora is on my wish list!

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