Monday, December 31, 2007

Virginia Rail #284

On the last day of the year of 2007 I was able to see a Virginia Rail at the Hyatt Wetlands in Boise, Idaho.

I had seen on the the IBLE-Yahoo Group that a couple of people had seen three of them at the Hyatt Wetlands. I e-mailed them to find the location of the wetlands and the particulars of where they saw them. He mentioned that he had played an audio recording of the rail's call which brought them into the open.

That afternoon I made my way to the wetlands and stood on the bridge over the nearly frozen over marshes. There was no movement in the reeds. Then an idea occured to me. I called my father-in-law, who had a book that plays bird sounds. I put my cell phone on speaker phone as he played the rail's call from his book. Instantly a couple of rails started calling back and they popped up out of the reeds and made their way towards me. It was pretty cool!

Lynn, although he had birded for 50 years had never seen this nemesis bird. On New Years Day, Lynn and I met out there at first light and he played his sounds again and sure enough the Virginia Rails showed themselves. Almost every time I go to the Hyatt Wetlands I hear the rails, but not having the ability to play their calls, I almost never see them.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Eurasion Wigeon #283

Boise had a wintering Eurasian Wigeon at Ann Morrison park. It was easy to see with its redder head and white front as it grazed on the park grass along with the American Wigeons.