Marsh Tuxedo and Tails – The Sora

Sora Rail, Marshes of Riding Mountain National Park 

 

Sora Rail, Marshes of Riding Mountain National Park

One of the delights of being out at night is hearing sounds that we are not used to – for example the cackling of a barred owl, or the whinnying sound of a Sora Rail.  The sora is a small rail (marsh-dwelling bird that feed on small aquatic insects, snails, worms, and tiny fish.  In winter, they also feed on aquatic plants and seeds.  They are secretive; you don’t normally get to see them unless you are a really avid bird-watcher.

Which made this photograph memorable for me.  You see, when weather changes, different behavioural responses from wildlife appear to take place.  I decided to photograph some nesting marsh birds in Riding Mountain National Park on a cool somewhat miserable, cool, rainy day in early June, and as I was meandering came across this beautiful bird foraging close by.  Using my car as a blind, I slowly traveled along photographing it.  

One of the great benefits of a hybrid-electric vehicle is that it runs on the electric motor if the battery is charged up.  So, you can slowly move along with a wild species that are photographing without consuming gas, and yet carefully staying a distance away from the species you are photographing.

You will notice, also, a really neat aspect to this photo.  It was raining just enough that I was able to catch a raindrop that had hit the water to the right and behind the bird, causing it bounce up, with the ripple from its original impact already on the surface of the water surrounding it.  As John Shaw, a well-known US photographer once said in a photography seminar that I attended, “there is no excuse for not being there”.  Indeed, secretive Sora, bouncing raindrops, and great photographic images in the making.  Riding Mountain National Park is my backyard.  

Call us for our early morning Wildlife Watch or Photo Safaris, introducing you to wild nature, as things happen.  We’ve been doing this for 13 years in all seasons of the year.

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