[CT Birds] Possible Yellow Rail in Fairfield

Roy Harvey rmharvey at snet.net
Sun Aug 8 23:21:42 EDT 2010

I received a response to my request for more information on the possible Yellow Rail sighting in Fairfield yesterday.

Mimi Dekker wrote:
Roy, I spotted the Yellow Rail, yesterday morning about 9:15 and on and off until about noon, at Oliver Nurseries, 1159 Bronson Road, Fairfield, CT.
I work at the nursery. I was showing a colleague an area of the nursery and we saw the Yellow Rail on the ground in our alpine rock garden foraging like a little chicken. It ran under some shrubs, we got a good look at it and its distinguishing characteristics. Went online and looked it up, and confirmed when we went back out to the same area and heard the bird's call. It never took flight, only darted and ran around in a shady area of rock garden, then over to a very shady, moist mulch bed. It kept running under the stock shrubs in the nursery. When the sun took over this area, we no longer saw the bird. Someone thought he saw it later in the day again in the same proximity, but where it was now shaded.

I passed that along to a few trusted advisers and Frank Mantlik spoke with Mimi briefly to get more details.  He said "her description (including behavior) definitely sounded like a small, short-billed rail."  He also said (if he heard correctly, he was driving when the call came in) that he could not rule out a juvenile Sora from the description, and that if Mimi saw it again on Monday she would call him.

Roy Harvey
Beacon Falls, CT

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