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Rufous-necked Wood-Rail
13 Jul 2013, 12:39 PM,
Rufous-necked Wood-Rail
Shaun Putz and I departed Flag at 10:30 p.m., Thursday night in hopes of seeing the RNWR discovered at Bosque del Apache last Sunday. We drove all night, arriving at precisely first light and started our wait for the bird to make its appearance. And we waited, and we waited, and we waited.

I'm usually very optimistic about finding birds, even after hope seems lost after a lot of effort with no results. But, by 5:00 p.m., after 11 hours in the grilling sun, I was pretty convinced the bird was gone after it hadn't "really" been detected since the previous day at noon. It must have been the sun stroke talking.

I learned that I can be wrong too, sometimes, and at 5:00 p.m., this beautiful little bird came strutting onto the mud-flat and put on a wonderful show, whomping on crayfish, taking a bath, preening and stretching.

For ABA listers, this is a one-time event, this won't happen again any time soon, so I am very happy about this one.

Shaun is a great birder and traveling companion, so I was glad to have the opportunity to do this with him.
13 Jul 2013, 8:20 PM,
RE: Rufous-necked Wood-Rail
After reading David Vander Pluym's posting on Thursday, my wife Susan, Don Normandin and I decided to head over Friday morning. We arrived at the refuge around 5:45 p.m. or so NM time and luckily only had a 30 minute wait until the bird made his appearance. What a treat! The bird seemed to be completely oblivious to the sometimes noisy crowd and, as Tom described, went about his business of eating and bathing. Incredibly there was a Least Bittern that was out in the open for most of the time (and hung out near the rail for quite awhile) we were there and we had long looks at three this morning. The Least Bittern was a first for all of us.

We did the entire auto loop this morning and saw a total of 39 or so species. We're all looking forward to heading back over there this fall.

Tom, it seems that we must have been there at the same time. We were close to the east end of the boardwalk. We watched the bird for an hour or so but the mosquitoes eventually chased us off.

14 Jul 2013, 7:11 AM,
RE: Rufous-necked Wood-Rail
Darn Joe, I wish I'd seen you. I was that half-dead lump at the west end of the boardwalk. Glad you got it. Bosque is great in the fall, even better in the winter.

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