The River 'S' Unit of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge produced stunning numbers of Virginia Rail this morning; seven adults and nine chicks all feeding out in the open. Low water levels throughout the area must be the culprit. The other surprise was three Wilson's Snipe engaged in audibly-spectacular flight displays over the north western edge of the Kiwa Trail, producing the unforgettable winnowing sound with their outstretched outer tail-feathers. According to Birds of North America Online, the flight display of the Wilson's Snipe, is typically seen while the birds are on breeding territory. I have never before seen a Virginia Rail chick or heard the haunting sound Wilson's Snipe make during their flight display!
INTERACTIVE MAP - Kiwa Trail Track (in red):
The one that got away (Great Horned Owl):