Date: Sat, 14 Feb 2009 14:41:36 -0500
Reply-To: Vanessa Lane <sales@GECKOLAIR.COM>
Sender: Georgia Birders Online <GABO-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From: Vanessa Lane <sales@GECKOLAIR.COM>
Subject: Virginia Rail at Bear Creek Reservoir 2/14/09, near Athens!!
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The rain today delayed my birding for a couple of hours, but I decided
to try my luck at Bear Creek Reservoir north of Athens for any waterfowl
that might still be active. A lone white-phased SNOW GOOSE flew in with
a flock of 15 Canadas, honking in its higher pitched voice. There were
15 HORNED GREBES scattered across the water, along with the typical
PIED-BILLED GREBES, LESSER SCAUP, RING-NECKED DUCKS, and BUFFLEHEADS.
The real highlight of the day was a lone VIRGINIA RAIL!! I wanted to
add Swamp Sparrow to my list over at the marshes by the spillway. As I
leaned over the cement railing of the bridge, I saw lots of hispid
cotton rats running around. I put my bins on a few of them just because
they were fun to watch, when I realized that one 'cotton rat' had
feathers!! The Virginia Rail was in gorgeous adult plumage. He foraged
in the cattails directly underneath me (only ~30ft away) for 40
minutes!! He kept running in and out of the vegetation so it was
difficult to get my autofocus to work, but I managed to snatch four
identifiable shots. You can see them here:
Click Next to see the other three photos I took.
What a great way to have a lifer! I wish all rails were this cooperative!
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