Saturday, October 26, 2013

Pic of the Day

Clapper Rail, Rallus longirostris; Bolivar Peninsula, Texas

     Earlier this week I made a trip to the Bolivar Peninsula in Texas, to photograph shorebirds.  Houston Audubon has a shorebird sanctuary on the flats that host thousands of shorebirds.  In 2006, I spoke at the Houston Audubon’s, Galveston chapter.  While there, local birders took me birding on the flats.  I was astonished at the number of American Avocets feeding in the Gulf waters along the peninsula.  I decided then, that I would return in the near future and photograph the shorebirds.
     After 7 years, I finally made it back to the Bolivar peninsula.  Though I arrived at the same time of year, the thousands and thousands of Avocets I had looked forward to photographing were not there.  There were however, plenty of other birds to photograph.  I had a great time and got a lot of images that I will be posting over the next week or so.
     My “Lifer” for the trip, was a Clapper Rail that I found at the edge of a salt marsh. When I stopped to photograph the rail, it disappeared into the reeds; but after a few minutes of waiting, it walked back onto the open shoreline for this portrait.
     Other than Sora rails, I have seen very few rails.  Rails are not rare, but they are very secretive and shy, preferring to be heard and not seen.  I was just lucky to have seen this particular bird.  I was in the right place at the right time, but that is usually how it is with bird photography.

Nikon D800, Nikkor 500mm f4, 1/1250 second @ f 5.6, ISO 400

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