Wilson’s Phalarope and King Rail

Oops, I did it again, didn’t mean to disappear!

I’ve been doing a lot of birding the past few weeks during our region’s Spring songbird migration. Yep, I kinda got caught up in it. πŸ˜‰

The fun, chase, and challenge gained me five new lifers (Wilson’s Warbler, Canada Warbler, Gray-cheeked Thrush, Wilson’s Phalarope, and King Rail). In addition, I was able to capture two of the five which are featured here.

The first of the two is the Wilson’s Phalarope. This beautiful shorebird stayed at a local pond at Chesapeake Farms for about a week to the thrill of many birders. Photos were a bit tough to achieve with it always hanging at the back of the pond, but I got ’em!



Wilson’s Phalarope (lifer #299, photographed #275)

The Wilson’s Phalarope usually migrates through the central to western United States to South America, and returns the same route to breed in the upper parts of the central to western U.S. and Canada. There are some known breeding areas in the New England states, this one may have been headed to its home there. Lucky for us locals with its week stopover to refuel, wherever it was headed!



Wilson’s Phalarope


The second photographed lifer was a super thrill, the elusive King Rail. I found it also at Chesapeake Farms in their 40-acre Hill Reservoir marsh.

The King Rail is a secretive bird. I was told that mine is the official third sighting for Kent County, Maryland, and farthest north on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. The first was recorded back in 1891, the second heard in 2019 at Eastern Neck NWR. So I get to toot my little horn, right? πŸ’ƒ



King Rail (lifer #300, photographed #276)



King Rail


On a serious note, I feel extremely fortunate to have sighted this King Rail. King Rail populations have declined in all areas surveyed in North America, overall by an estimated 4.5% per year since 1966 according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey, indicating a cumulative decline of 90% over that period. Partners in Flight estimates the global population at 70,000 birds, rates the species a 15 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score, and includes it on the Yellow Watch List for declining populations. The IUCN classifies King Rail as a β€œNear Threatened” species. Long-term declines in populations are mostly related to the massive loss of wetlands across North America. (courtesy AllAboutBirds.org)



King Rail’s Map Range



King Rail


I’ve taken a galore of bird photos in the past few weeks, I just need to sit still long enough to pick through them to process and share. πŸ˜‰

Next up, a three-post series on my beloved Osprey that I’d been previously working on!

P.S. During my few week hiatus and restart, Word Press changed my format, forcing me now to use the Block editor (I’ve been using Classic for 10+ years). So that has been a huge negative getting restarted, I had to learn it to do this post. If it’s a little ‘out of whack’, you know why!


65 thoughts on “Wilson’s Phalarope and King Rail

  1. I have never heard of any of those birds but, good on you to capture the elusive one. And, declining since 1966? Wow. That is as long as I have been alive. That is sad. Pretty birds, tho…

    WordPress was in the process of shoving everyone into that damn Gutenberg editor (block). I despise that thing. I have a Business Plan, now so, I have the Classic plug-in. If they take that away from me, I will quit and move to substack.

    • Yes, the King Rail is slowly losing. Very sad.

      I have had the Business Plan too with the Classic plug-in and it just started forcing me use Block. If I try to use Classic, it won’t drop the header for editing, etc. I’ll look at again to see if it still does it for my next post.

        • I’ll have to check. I am not a computer whiz, and pretty much go by the seat of my pants, lol. I think my theme might be part of the problem. I am still using an older theme. πŸ€”

          • So am I. My theme dates back to 2018. I get notices to “get a new theme…we will build it for you…” NO. I like what I have.

            Seriously. Scroll down to “plug-ins” on the left-hand sidebar. Select “installed plug-ins” and check on that. Go into settings and make sure your default editor is “classic.”

            Do you have anyone else using your blog?

          • Sorry, I’m back. I checked my installed plug-ins and Classic was not active. Not sure why, I have not done any changes. So I just ‘activated’ it again. Now I go to settings?

          • Sounds like you just fixed it.

            On your “Home” page, with all your stats and stuff, the left-hand side bar has all of your choices. There is a “plug-ins” choice, when you scroll down far enough. When you select “plug-ins”, it takes you to all of your plug-ins. Each plug-in, however many you have, they all have settings. Find the Classic Editor one and make sure it is definitely “Classic” and the “Other Users” should be chosen as “No.” I had another guy posting with me at one time, so I have that show up in my “plug-ins.” He doesn’t post anymore but, I haven’t removed him.

            Am I making sense?

          • Hey, I’m back. I’m watching my 7mo grandson and he’s still sleeping so I thought I’d try to review some things. My Classic editor is now active. I also show active: CoBlocks and Gutenberg, both say installed by WP. Do I deactivate them? Ugh, this is all so greek to me, lol.

          • Oh, goodness. Baby.

            I’m not sure what CoBlocks are but, if you didn’t install it, I’d deactivate or delete. And, since you have stated that Gutenberg is a struggle/problem, I’d deactivate it, too.

            I dug into my plug-ins and, neither CoBlocks nor Gutenberg show up. I actually had to look up CoBlocks and I still don’t know what it is.

  2. Great photos, this is birding season and I understand you want to make the best of it. I was going to go out yesterday but too smoky from fires.Yesterday we had the worst air quality in the world. Staying indoors but can still smell it in here. Worry for all our flying friends.

    • Thank you, Jane! So sorry to hear you’re in the midst of all the wildfire smoke, oh my, not good for anyone or anything to be breathing at all! Stay safe. Fingers crossed for the birds as well.

  3. Thanks for sharing this very special life Donna, it is a beautiful rail, I love the pattern on the back of its neck. You have done so well to get these great pics my friend. You did well on your first block post. I finally bit the bullet and converted to it some time back, but I still have some of my pages in classic, and you can choose classic option in post. I learnt how to go into the code and set the colors and style manually when I could not do it through block. Copy and paste works well, but it takes a little learning. I occasionally use classic tools in the blocks, but blocks are easier once you get the hang of it, but it is more fiddly, which is more time consuming. Some functions were removed also..

    • Thank you, Ashley, the rail is going up there to the top of one of those ‘cannot believe I photographed’ birds. πŸ™‚
      It seems I am not able to have a Classic header to follow my post as I work, it disappears. Trying to figure out Block was frustrating just because I didn’t want to do it, lol, but I started getting the hang of it and it got a little easier. Now I’ll find out next post if I can remember how. My upcoming Osprey post was started in Classic, so I had no problem finishing it with it. Go figure, ha! Thanks Ashley!

      • Yes I was resistant to block as several other older bloggers were, but we all caved in eventually and it is not that bad. I am pleased that I have learned to play with the code and implant some classic features from time to time:-)
        You we’re blessed with your rail, especially being such a rare sighting. Enjoy your week my friend 😊

        • I am truly blessed in my adventures, being given so many beautiful opportunities with bird sightings. Such wonderful gifts to us from Above! πŸ™‚ Enjoy your week too, Ashley!

  4. Wow! Five new lifers — congratulations! You live in a birder’s paradise. πŸ™‚ Those are amazing pictures of the King Rail! That must have been such a thrilling encounter for you. It’s very concerning to know that they are in such a drastic population decline. Sigh…

    • Thank you, Barbara! πŸ’ƒπŸ˜Š I’ve been a busy birder, lol. The King Rail was quite the thrill for sure, I still cannot believe I saw AND got shots. So sad on its decline, and it doesn’t look good for the future. I found this King Rail on a protected preserve so I hope he knows he needs to stay put! Maybe there’s a family? That’d be awesome!

    • Thank you, Mike! πŸ’ƒπŸ˜Š I’m still pinching myself with the rail. I sighted him while sitting and searching from my car with my binoculars, I was looking for bitterns, this was even better! πŸ˜‰

  5. Lovely set as usual. The king rail is a very nice bird.

    As for block editor vs classic. I am still able to use the classic. There is an option in Add New that allows you to select either block or classic. I haven’t been able to get used to the block editor so I am sticking to the classic until WordPress removes it permanently. (Suzanne)

    • Thank you, Suzanne! I’m still tickled seeing and being able to photograph the King Rail. πŸ™‚

      I’m looking into the depths of my settings, see if something got changed with an update that I did not know about. Ugh, I’m with you, I just want to stay with Classic!!

  6. Congratulations on a stellar spring migration!

    For me, finding a Phalarope and King Rail would make me happy for the rest of the year!

    Thank you for sharing your success.

  7. Nice work on the King Rail. I went after one in Florida recently for three solid days but came up empty every time. Heard it few times, but refused to reveal itself. You even got really nice shots!

    • Thank you! I was actually sitting in my car, looking for bitterns and was totally surprised by the King Rail! There was a lot of breath holding while I took the photos while saying, “don’t you disappear on me”! No one would believe me if I didn’t have a photo and no audio. πŸ˜‰

  8. It is very annoying to have to change the editor that you are using but you seem to have managed the transition very well. There are some compensations when you get used to it, I think. Great pictures of the King Rail.

  9. Congratulations on the lifers. Hang in there with the block editor. I think you’ll like it once you have some time with it. There is definitely a learning curve. 😊

    • Thank you, Pepper! Re the block editor, it is frustrating me. Mostly because I lack the time to want to learn, lol. Hey, I was going to email you, I am not able to leave any comments on your site. I keep trying!! πŸ₯Ί 😒 I am going to hit up WP hopefully in next few weeks yet again, to see why.

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