I had a blast today at the Bird Preserve. Today was the Great Backyard Bird Count, and my friend Lupe and I spent the day counting birds. We teamed up for our GBBC count and came up with 43 species between the two of us. I had 37 species for the day with 3 "new" species for the year. I have been looking for American Wigeons for the last month and a half, and today I finally found one on Pond 9 (the rest of them are mooching bread at Sunset Park in the pond with the Redheads).
Then I found this very accomodating Ruby-crowned Kinglet. He let me get pretty close and take several pictures. I think his eye is kind of freaky-looking in this picture, the angle and the white eye-ring make it look unnaturally large to me. But I bet he looks even freakier to the little bugs he was eating.
About this time I started hearing that people had seen Virginia Rails on Pond 1 and Pond 3. So I started to look for them. No luck. But later that afternoon, Lupe tipped me off to one on the peninsula on Pond 7. I was on the path above that pond and on a higher elevation and it let me watch it for several minutes while it fed along the shore. I wasn't very close so this next picture is blown up quite a bit on the computer.
After I picked up the rail, I decided to make one last run by Pond 9. As I was heading back in, I saw some movement in the corner of Pond 6. There is a little bit of beach there in the corner and I saw a Sora feeding in the water. I was only 20 feet or so away but it didn't seem to mind me watching.