black rails at Martinez Shoreline


Cathy Bleier
 

Black rail:  Back in July there was a flurry of email about rails at Martinez
Shoreline.    I went and heard it but not see it, as did others (see
descriptions below).  We met regulars there who were more fortunate and have
seen it/them. 

Cathy Bleier

As part of a project with the Ridge Trail and Bay Trail I was out in the
Carquinez Strait area a bunch the last while. A highlight last week was hearing
a Black Rail from the boardwalk bridge immediately west of the arch bridge at
the Martinez Regional Shoreline Park. Since the bird sounded to be nearly below
me, I sat there for ages and ages hoping to get a look at it.  Nothing! I sat
there probably over an hour waiting for some movement, and I just could not see
it. This species is really a master of not being seen,  but hearing one in the
middle of the day (1 pm or so) was extremely exciting. I realize that there are
ok populations of this rail up in the area, but one that was in such a well
traveled area and easily accessible  area I thought noteworthy. Perhaps early
morning or evening on a high tide by waiting and listening from that boardwalk
bridge one has a chance of seeing it. Here is a map of the area:

http://www.ebparks. org/files/ EBRPD_files/ brochure/ martinez_ map.pdf
 
The Black Rails were calling Wed afternoon at 5 PM, about 1 hour before the high
tide. They were at the same place described by Alvaro and Hugh-on the wooden
boardwalk right after the arched bridge. I waited about 20 minutes before the
first vocalization.

Black Rail Continues at Martinez Shoreline
I got to the shoreline about 7 or so this morning.   We heard the rail shortly
after reaching the boardwalk west of the arch bridge. We encountered PaulBrenner
of Martinez, who had arrived much earlier and had been hearing the bird during
his stake-out. The three of us listened to the rail for about forty-five minutes
and tracked it as it moved through the reeds south of the boardwalk, seeming so
close but, as expected, being impossible to see.

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