Today, on the Hastings rail-trail , I spotted some movement to my left in the swampy area just off the trail. Having purposefully taken my new point and shoot Canon sx50 in case I saw a new butterfly , I quickly flipped it on and began to focus ( no easy task for this raw novice). I knew that I had a Virginia Rail the moment it came into view.
I stood there for at least 20 minutes snapping pictures and appreciating this ” best in a lifetime view”. I was only about 8 feet away . For my local friends, it was about 100 yards east of David Fife Line , on the south side of the trail. Importantly, , I believe there is a nest there as half way through this experience, he poked into a muddy undergrowth and very shortly afterward, a female came out to peck bills and then continue on her own food seeking wanderings) . I have “marked” the spot by placing a dogwood branch ( you can tell by its bark !! yuk, yuk , ) in the small 8 ft. willow. My luck held out as I was next able to spot and capture on my camera ( primarily why I bought it ) a “Spring Azure” butterfly – a first for me.
Observer: Michael Gillespie