But Jops was adamant about birding in the La Mesa Ecopark on Friday, after a super rainy Thursday. His weather app predicted good weather for Friday even if it was still raining well into Thursday evening. But what the heck, if it still rained then we'd dude bird in the spillway area and if the sun came out, then well and good.
Turns out AccuWeather.com is reliable and we were given a sunny morning in the park. Jops, Jun, Alex, and I walked into the seemingly empty park and headed up the trails. We kept our eyes open for any birds but we only saw Black-naped Orioles and Brown Shrikes. A Coppersmith Barbet perched for a while on a leafless tree before it flew away from sight. Just the usual suspects here and there: Lowland White-eyes, Zebra Doves, and White-breasted Woodswallows until...
Jops and Alex spotted some movement in the bushes. Alex described the bird he was seeing as looking like a very dark chicken. We all crowded together for a better view of the bird. It was foraging on the ground, picking up damp leaves... and it walked out to give us a great view: a Slaty-legged Crake!
|Slaty-legged Crake walking around, foraging. Photo by Jops Josef.|
It had a reddish head and nape and it had a beautiful, pale yellow eye ring. Its underparts were barred with white stripes and its beak was mint-green colored. Such a beautifully marked bird! And did I mention it had a pretty eye ring? Oh yes, I did!
|Slaty-legged Crake picking up a leaf. Photo by Alex Josef.|
Finally, I got to see it! October was coming to a close and I got to end it with another great and unexpected lifer! God is good! =)