YELLOW RAIL in CT - May 9, 2019

This isn't how I expected to get my state Yellow Rail.

The few recent CT records of this species have fallen between mid-autumn and early winter and involved individuals at coastal saltmarshes. I just assumed that I had more November rope-dragging days in my future, as spring New England records are very sparse in modern times.

At 3:45 this morning I stepped out of my car at a brackish marsh in Old Saybrook to hear a YELLOW RAIL clicking away. That textbook Morse code-like call. Obviously first I used my iPhone SE (go ahead and snicker) to record the call, though it struggled to pick up the target sound. After a few minutes of standing there and just enjoying a call that I never thought I would hear in Connecticut, I texted (and surely woke up) several friends. Concerned for the local residents (this listening site is very small and located in a residential neighborhood), I called the town's police department and let them know the deal. They were fine with making the observation public. Unfortunately for others, the bird stopped calling at around 4:20am, before anyone could make it.

Here's hoping the bird sticks and is audible for whoever tries to listen tonight.

eBird checklist with sound:

 - NB


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