On Monday I noted how few birds were out and about being photogenic for me of late, so of course I saw a good bird yesterday. Mid- to late summer is the birding doldrums -- not a lot of 'em to see -- which is so not fair because it's when the weather is nicest. But unless you habituate the local shorebird hot spots (it's shorebird migration time), which I don't, then birding is rather dull.
Yesterday I brought my camera to work with the idea of going to the Fill around 10:00am (VERY early lunch!) before it got too hot and in hopes the birds weren't already into their mid-day naps. As I walked there, all I heard were gulls and crows. Not encouraging. At the boat dock there were Mallards snoozing out on the piers. Totally not encouraging. Then I walked the length of the slough without seeing a single bird (though I heard a Marsh Wren nattering away out of sight). Utterly discouraging.
It's a beautiful spot, though, at least:
I paused at the wooden footbridge to look for ducks. No ducks. I let out a mighty sigh. Oh woe is me, there are no birds, when oh when (and where!) am I going to see a good bird or two again?
And at precisely that moment, this popped out from the reeds:
Rail! Heavens, I haven't seen a Virginia Rail in ages!
It didn't stay very long before darting back into cover, but long enough to cheer me for the rest of the day. I hope this is a sign that the doldrums are on their way out.