Date: 10/1/18 4:26 pm
From: Yong Kong <yklitespeed...>
Subject: [JERSEYBI] Update on my Peep request and it will lead to Black Rail ID question
I goofed on the original 6 peep photos which I uploaded on my Flickr requesting ID on the peep. Two photos actually contained juv least sandpiper which I clearly saw during live action. Thanks to RD for me to re-think. Thanks to those who took the bait on the Peep ID. During live view I did think about the Western potential but I refused to accept it for a simple reason in that other options sounded far more exciting.

Yesterday I decided to take a hike into Delaware Bay salt marsh/mud flat near Turkey Point Road hoping to find another Western for a comparison study. No dice.

While slogging thru the Spartina marsh, wall to wall Phrags and High tide bush stands trying to wrap up the last 1/2 mile hike back to the car, a jet blackish looking rail was flushed only a few feet in front of my path along the edge (mean high water line) of Spartina marsh. My rain boots were covered in mud.I watched the rail in flight for a few/several seconds and wished my camera was not put away.

I was bit confused as only jet black rail chicks I saw are Clappers and they seemed incapable of taking a flight. My entire view of this rail was from its back. Body and the wing tips gave me an impression it was larger than the salt marsh or seaside sparrows in flight which I saw several. Perhaps about the size of red-winged blackbird in flight.

I not recall seeing any shiny spots on back half while the rail was in flight before it took a dive back into the spartina marsh. The land owner who used to harvest salt hay once told me he would see rails running around in front of his machine. Also, it is the same extensive marsh system that stretches out to the Turkey Point Road.

So I am moving on from the Western Sandpiper reply/comments received to this very curious jet-black rail that I was not able to put a scientific name on it. Reason ? My favorite birds are the ones I can not/could not ID. That is how I roll.

Yong Kong
Camden County

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