Sunday, July 19, 2015

July 19 - Marsh Birds

I woke up without plans and quickly decided to look for some marsh birds.  I headed north to Sussex County and the Vernon Marsh.  Here I took the walk along the railroad tracks for about 1 mile.

 Along the way I saw many species of freshwater marshes like the abundant Marsh Wren, Swamp Sparrows Red-Winged Blackbirds, Green Herons, Great-Blue Herons, Gray Catbirds, and Barn Swallows.

Highlights were the 5-6 Least Bitterns that were moving thought the cat-tails, and I also saw a juvenile.  My target bird was heard-only at first but after walking past the spot where the sound came from I caught a glimpse of the Virginia Rail flying across the railroad tracks.  Patience was needed, but it finally paid off as the rail then came out of the grasses for quite a bit and gave me fantastic views for several minutes.   The last time I had seen this species was back in 2007 !!
Here is where I saw the bird.

Later down the tracks the same situation re-occurred, I heard the bird at first and spent 15 minutes waiting for it, I then started walking away and the bird flew across the tracks.  I was also able to see this one but only it's head.
Here is where I stopped walking

I also had a pair of Purple Martins, Cedar Waxwings, Eastern Bluebirds, and some other species.

Later at Liberty Loop I heard another Virginia Rail, and also heard a pair of Sora that were calling frequently. However I waited for an hour but the Sora never came out of the marsh for me to view.