Date: 10/6/17 8:57 am From: Malcolm Gold <malcolmgold...> Subject: Yellow Rail - Douglas County
On my way west for the fall K-OS meeting so I stopped at Clinton lake model airport field in search of Nelsons sparrow. After hearing a positive report from Terry Swope at Shawnee Mission Park I questioned my decision of where to spend the morning. A few new sparrows moved in since last week, but I had no luck on finding a Nelson's or LeContes in the strong morning wins.
Just like two weeks ago I flushed a handful of rails. I flushed one with light secondary flight feathers a mere 5 feet from me in the middle of the field near the deepest water. Anyone that has a birded with me realizes unexpected movement that close caused my heart to nearly jump from my chest. The bird was overall drab in coloration and I had hopes that when I return to my car I could figure out which species it was; But it landed so quickly I was unable to get binoculars on it.
Halfway back from the center of the field to the car, I flashed another rail that barely got above the grass but stayed in the air long enough for me to get binoculars on it. The bird was quite small in comparison to the others, streaked back, and entire secondary flight feathers of bright white. I had no doubt on this bird; an adult Yellow Rail!
After returning to the car and consulting a field guide, I see juvenile sort also have light secondary flight feathers. I left the first bird unidentified on the list, but potentially there are two yellow rails currently at that field.