Near where I live is a fairly large regional park, a managed “wilderness” type of park with 29 km of maintained trails for pedestrians, and a perimeter trail for horse riding. It consists of former farmland that has reverted to wild. Deer live there, and lots of small birds and squirrels. Occasionally there will be a cougar or black bear sighting, but they are not regular park residents. Today I went for a walk in the park with the intention of photographing a water lily in a small pond near one of the trails. Occasionally there are a couple of ducks in the pond, sometimes a frog or two, but I really wasn’t expecting much more than a water lily bud and maybe a few nightshade plants to photograph. The wind was blowing today, and my view of the water lily was through tall marsh grasses that were swaying in the breeze, so I was patiently waiting for a clear shot when this brown bird casually walked along the edge of the pond behind the lily…a bird I’d never seen before, in this pond or anywhere else… I was so excited! It was a Sora, a marsh bird about half the size of a coot. I’ve been in this park frequently in the last 20-plus years, I’ve even spent considerable time hanging out around this particular pond, and I’ve never seen one of these birds before. Actually, until last year, I hadn’t even heard of them.
What a cute bird! She kept appearing and disappearing in the grasses bordering the pond, so I just waited and watched for a while. I was even more excited to watch her glide across the pond to an opening in the grasses where she was greeted by a black, pingpong-ball sized ball of fluff…a small, single chick. At least, I could only see one. I couldn’t get a decent shot of the chick as there were too many grasses in front of me, altho later I heard what sounded like several little voices, so there may have been more of them in a nest deeper in the grasses. I was amazed at the size of one of the offerings she brought back to her chick. It looked like a large slug or small fish and it was a third of the size of the chick itself! It was such a great surprise and thrill to find this busy little bird.
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