Saturday, June 21, 2014

It's frightening....

It's frightening. I easily responded to my clock radio at 4:00 am today. In thirty minutes, I was underway to arrive at sunrise for a chance to document a rare variety of Rail.  Rails are obscure, stealthy marsh birds, that are heard much more often than seen.  The sunrise at Montezuma was lovely.

Arriving at the predetermined location by 6:30 am, I quickly settled in on the edge of a marsh, sitting on a three legged stool with a camo drape over camera, tripod and self.  It was delightfully cool with no "buggy-ness".  The wait for the elusive Rail stretched on, but I was not bored. I had a short visit by some Whitetail Deer plodding around in the cattails across the slough.

I think the honey color of their summer coat is beautifully rich and harmonious with the summer greens.  The wait for the Rail was not so bad.  I had another visitor, a Green Heron.  They are pretty wary and prone to sulk around in the margins of the marsh, so a close encounter is special.

There was a constant chatter from multiple Marsh Wrens.  I've not photographed them before, so when one finally perched in the open, I was happy. (Yes, they have a tail; it is nearly vertical when it sings, so it is obscured by the branch.)

After three hours, I decided the search for the rare bird was over.  Back at the car, I decided I could not go home without another visit to the Red-headed Woodpecker nest.  I devoted a brief one-half  hour, and it was rewarding.  Capturing one of them in flight has become an obsession.

Reviewing the photos, I understand why I easily awoke at 4:00 am.  It was a beautiful, cool morning with plenty to see, and the early hour easily justified the next part of my day, a mid-day siesta.  That's an under-appreciated luxury.


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