Desperate for some birding, I managed to prise myself out of bed Friday morning and take advantage of the cold, bright and dry conditions for a quick half hour at Buttertubs Marsh before work.
There wasn't a great deal going on, but it was just fab to be out in daylight.
To be honest, I was really hoping to find a Virginia rail, having still not had a decent look at one since my defection to Canada.
As is happens, I had no such luck. Optimism alone is no guarantee of success, it seems. These American rails certainly seem harder to locate than their European counterparts...
Hence the rather cryptic photo attached.
See if you can spot the little fella...
There was little out on the water, just a couple of hooded merganser and the odd mallard and a lone wood duck.
Creeping around in the undergrowth were a couple of varied thrushes, fox sparrows and the usual Bewick's wrens, juncos, towhees etc.
I did get great views of a marsh wren, frolicking in the frosty phragmites. Always a treat.
Just managed a quick run by Quennell Lake on our way out to somewhere less ornithological.
Of note: the American kestrel was again hunting in the nearby fields. Only 28 trumpeter swans were on the flooded field and wildfowl in general was much reduced. There were approximately 180 common merganser, and a single American coot on the lake.