For some reason, even though I had already birded before work, after work yesterday I raced to Black Creek Marsh to meet Will and Danika, whom you have met if you’ve read this blog for more than two or three posts, and Jeff Nadler, bird photographer extraordinare, to see if we could track down and photograph Virginia Rails (again). Long story short: yes!

Virginia Rail at Black Creek Marsh

In addition to the rails we spotted Mallards and Canada Geese, Barn, Tree and possibly Northern Rough-winged Swallows, American Goldfinches and Yellow-rumped Warblers, Rusty and Red-winged Blackbirds, Swamp and Song Sparrows and Mourning Doves. And did I mention our first-of-the-year Marsh Wrens?

Marsh Wren at Black Creek Marsh

It was great to hear their liquid, bubbling song again after a long time without it. Both Jeff and I are pretty sure we heard a Sora whinny but without Will and Danika having heard it I think I’ll wait to check it off the year list.

After leaving Black Creek, Will, Danika, and I continued on to Five Rivers in the hopes of hearing an Eastern Screech Owl but had no luck. We did see our first-of-the-year Green Heron with what little light remained and several bats feeding over a pond.

And really, I don’t care that Jeff got such ridiculously good pictures of the rail. Watching him carry that bazooka of a camera made me think he deserved it, and hearing him say “The bird’s too close. I can’t focus” was absolutely hilarious!

So take the time to click on the links above to see better pics of the rail…you won’t regret it.

Written by Corey
Corey is a New Yorker who lived most of his life in upstate New York but has lived in Queens since 2008. He's only been birding since 2005 but has garnered a respectable life list by birding whenever he wasn't working as a union representative or spending time with his family. He lives in Forest Hills with Daisy and Desmond Shearwater. His bird photographs have appeared on the Today Show, in Birding, Living Bird Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, and many other fine publications. He is also the author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to the Birds of New York.