A coming home of sorts. I spent a good deal of the first 12 years of my life in Los Chavez New Mexico, and would come with my parents every New Year’s Day to Bosque Del Apache to see the Snow Geese and Sandhill Cranes (although there also were plenty to be seen in winters around my house in the surrounding fields). I am certain these formative trips and others to the Rio Grande Nature Center helped shape my love for nature, and in particular birds. I got “lost” for 15 years in the highly populated central New Jersey cities and High School, but a re-connection with nature as we moved to the suburbs, also rekindled my love for birds. So it was appropriate that I made it back to Bosque Del Apache for a special bird many years later for the recently found Rufous-necked Wood Rail!
There is a great video that Matt Daw (who found the bird) took while taking video of a Least Bittern and the Wood Rail walks right on through behind it completely unexpected! It was as if (to birders that is :)) Elvis had just photo-bombed your family Christmas photo! A special moment indeed. You can see it HERE.
So, with this wonderful sighting by Matt, and the amazing excitement it caused in the birding community, I hatched plans to work my way back to the Bosque.
As luck would have it (and birders no calling this “luck” is certainly appropriate) it worked out that, after being on the board walk for about 5 minutes, out popped the Rufous-necked Wood Rail! Enjoying the bird with all of the local and “migrant” birders was great too. They had all made their pilgrimage to New Mexico for the Wood Rail too. Everyone got to see the bird in the hour + that I was there, and its such a great thing to share in the experience with happy birders! Like opening Christmas presents with kids!
So, I wanted to try to get a few pictures of today and then maybe some better ones over the next 2 days. The pictures aren’t great as they are cropped from the significant distance it was away. What a bird and what a homecoming to an amazing place for birds at the Bosque Del Apache in the Land of Enchantment.
A few More Pics at our Flickr Site!