I have not been birding in maybe 2, 3 weeks. Granted it been hot, miserable, and I've missed my daughter as I've been back at work full time for a busy summer. Also my camera and lens were being weird, it all was a lot and I just needed some time to be with my family, see friends, and just relax for a bit.
But I missed the birds and while I made some treks here and there, saw my baby terns at Nickerson, saw my piping plovers at Breezy Point, I also in the free time I had needed to prioritize some care time for the pets, the baby (who now walks), and me.
I got back my lens today, and it seems to be working better- perhaps it just needed a good cleaning. I don't yet have back my preferred camera body, so I went with our original camera, which is always a good backup. I took it for a test run at Marine Park. The air was thick enough to slice but it was worth it because my bird health was restored when I saw a little black fuzz ball with oversized feet...
I will admit the first time I saw a baby clapper rail I was like... WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?!
And then you see them follow out after their parent and you're like... huh. So that's a baby clapper rail.
I observed from a platform as they moved about the marsh, but they were close enough that I could actually hear the vocalizations of the chicks! And those big splayed out feets, perfect for life in the marsh, to walk over the grasses especially when the tide is in. Two chicks were present, and damn, did they fill my heart with joy. And here is the adult bird, I want it to be their mama, but honestly, I can't tell. I saw it bring some food over to where the chicks were hiding and sometimes the little ones followed. I LOVE clapper rails. The best swamp chicken there is. Good luck, little rail family! Iridescent common grackle eats an iridescent june beetle.
Hoping I'll be able to get in a little birding next weekend, and if I'm lucky...a kayak paddle?