Date: 2/19/18 7:30 pm
From: Howard Wu via va-bird <va-bird...>
Subject: [Va-bird] King Rail, Red-necked Grebe in Fairfax County today

You have probably seen my post on the VA Birding Facebook group and my
eBird reports, but I don't think everyone is on Facebook. In any case,
risking repetition, here's a quick recap:

On this misty, drizzly day I decided to go to Occoquan Bay NWR. On the way
I stopped at Burke Lake at around 10:45AM or so but at that time I did not
see the Red-necked Grebe. I left and went to Occoquan Bay. Newly inspired
by Bill's fantastic photos and videos, I decided to station there for at
least 2 hours. Upon arrival (around 11AM), another birder told me one of
the King Rail just flew over the marsh and landed! It was his first visit
to the refuge and I had not seen it after I don't know how many visits! But
I stayed. Around noon, finally one of the King Rails made a brief
appearance in a gap among the marsh grasses. I took several pictures in the
span of 14 seconds (verified in the EXIF data). I did not quite get an
unobstructed view, but after so many disappointments, I was happy to get
any shots at all! The following are a couple:

I lingered for another 30 minutes or so but did not see it again.

I stopped at Burke Lake again and this time I saw the Red-necked Grebe
right away from the boat ramp. It swam diagonally across the lake, at one
point fairly close to the fishing pier. It was still misty and the light
was not very good, but I managed a somewhat passable picture:

Maybe I will stop by Burke Lake again in the coming warm days during my
"lunch breaks" ;-)

Howard Wu
Herndon, VA
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