|Chestnut Rail, Buffalo Creek, NT|
|Where Chestnut-quilled Rock-pigeons live.|
We returned to Darwin and again started the first-light searches for the Chestnut Rail. We’d spend several hours beginning at first light searching the mangrove mud banks of known Chestnut Rail spots. We had done this four or five times (six or seven times? I lost count) with no joy. I decided we should concentrate on Buffalo Creek, as it is the most famous spot for them. For the time being, Lynn had burned-out on mangroves, midgies and mozzies and did not go Thursday morning.
I met Robert by the boat ramp and we headed off south through the mangroves along the river. He and I had gone this way the evening before. We were beginning to know the “paths” through the mangroves (and the mozzies and midgies of course) very well. But we saw no Chestnut Rails. It was about 8:30am when a guy and his girlfriend came by in a small aluminum boat. I chatted to them and described the rail and they thought they’d seen two or three. They then stopped and were chatting with Robert and I yelled to him, “Ask them if they’ll take us up there.” He asked and Pat said, “Hop in!” Pat King was the gentleman who owned the little boat with a motor that continually conked out, but continually restarted. We puttered up the river as the tide dropped further, and the sun rose higher. I did not have a lot of expectations. But less than a kilometer upstream, Robert spotted a Chestnut Rail on the mudbank. YES! We were oogling it and snapping photos and it walked out into the sun! We got incredible views and some good shots. I was (am) SO grateful! We saw at least two more and it was awesome.
|The first view was the classic, skulking rail view...|
|And then it got better!|
|This was the second rail that showed for us.|
|A beautiful Little Kingfisher. We saw several of these very special kingfishers along the creek|
|Pat is concentrating on driving the boat and Robert and I are doing Lifer Selfie for a very difficult bird.|
|Lynn on the front seat of Pat's boat just after seeing 3 different Chestnut Rails!|
Peace. Love. Birds.