Date: 11/21/20 2:02 pm
From: Lawrence Gardella <lfgardella...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] Astonishing bird!
Another yard bird to add to y'all's incredible list?

Larry Gardella

On Sat, Nov 21, 2020, 8:01 AM Lucy & Bob Email <RobertADuncan...>

> 11/20/20
> The walkway between the corner of our house and the patio is short, but
> its length is bordered by thick, low cover of ferns and other plants in the
> shade of bayberry, azalea and camellias beneath a canopy of live oaks.
> About 20 feet to the south this thicket intersects with a small pond
> surrounded by walking irises, ferns, palmettos and, well, Lord knows what.
> Today about 10:00 a.m. I rounded the corner and headed to the patio when
> "it" ran across the open walkway right in front of me, never to be seen
> again.
> This small, dark bird was running. Not flying. No wing flapping, and
> seemingly tail-less, it was slightly larger and chunkier than a Carolina
> Wren. The head was held close to the body and pointing forward giving the
> impression of a bird with very little neck. The color was a deep sooty gray
> with some rufescent brown, not the overall color rusty brown of a Carolina.
> I could see its legs running then it disappeared into the undergrowth. I
> knew it was a rail, and of all amazing things....a Black Rail !
> Previously, our 3-county area (Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa) had 17
> records of Black Rail, the earliest of which was a specimen taken on a ship
> in the Gulf near Pensacola on March 10, 1885. Two specimens were taken from
> the upper balcony of the Pensacola LIghthouse on the night of March 22-23,
> 1885. Other records came from the Pensacola Bay bridge in 1941 and 1946.
> Weston was shown a specimen from a Pensacola garden, and was told of others
> from neighboring gardens. One was found in October 1949 on the beach at Ft.
> Walton, Okaloosa Co., in October 1949. In January 1997 one was found at Air
> Products (now Eastman/Taminco) in Pace (Santa Rosa). Between 2000 and 2007,
> there were six records from the Okaloosa "Spray Fields" and Sanitary
> Landfill, and in March of this year (2020) one was found in the water on
> Pensacola Beach and taken to the Wildlife Sanctuary of Northwest Florida.
> It was subsequently rehabilitated and released in a marsh in West
> Pensacola.
> The amazing thing is how this bird escapes notice, and even when seen,
> pulls a vanishing act.
> Feeling ever so lucky (when's the next lottery?).
> Lucy Duncan
> Gulf Breeze (Santa Rosa)
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