Rail Distractions

So, this weekend, I took a break from my active pursuit of passerine migrants because of a very cool report that came from Conneaut Marsh, a massive wetland to the north of Pittsburgh. It was a report of 7 Virginia rail being very abiding and offering great views. This was too great of an opportunity to miss so my dad and I headed not on Sunday morning.
We decided to explore some of the other areas of the marsh first, before we would meet p with some other birders to look for the rails. Swamp and chipping sparrows were singing all over the place. In the marsh itself, there were many shovelers, ring-necked ducks, and a few wood ducks. There was also a huge tree swallow flock which included a few barn swallows.
We moved on then to the area the rails had been seen in. There were many wood ducks there as well as multiple bald eagles which were flying at tree level. Another large flock of swallows where there too including a single northern rough-winged swallow. A brown thrasher was also seen in a few of the shrubs in the more forested section of the marsh. We then met up with some other birders to look for the rails.
We went to the exact spot where they had been seen the day before. A bit of playback proved that two where inside the brush calling. After a bit of waiting, I spotted one. A bit later, it was spotted again and offered good views. Such an awesome bird.
The other birders were going to a place called Miller’s Pond next so we went with hem to see what was there.
Huge numbers of yellowlegs were at the ponds (both greater and lesser), there were a few assorted waterfowl, as well as six pectoral sandpipers, and one dunlin. Two muskrats were also seen along the pond, a nice mammal highlight. The last good bird was heard rut before we left in the form of a savannah sparrow singing.
The last place we were going to stop at was the spillway of a lake nearby. There huge rafts of ruddy ducks were seen (a few were in breeding plumage), there were also a few horned grebes (one in breeding plumage) and my FOY field sparrow.
All in all, it was a very awesome day.

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