Sora, Mississippi River, Pool Slough, near New Albin, Iowa -----------

I drove to the extreme northeast corner of Iowa today, to New Albin, just south of the Minnesota border. At first came a little disappointment due to the fact that the gravel road across Pool Slough, a wildlife sanctuary in the backwaters of the Mississippi, was partly closed because of high water level. I guess the snow melt from the last few weeks comes down the river now. The road ends at a boat landing that is usually very popular among fishermen but the water made me stop a mile earlier already. With water, marsh land, and mudflats on both sides, the road is a great place for bird watching and photography not only at this time of the year. I didn’t give up and scanned the area with the binoculars. There were ducks and geese, eagles, coots, egrets, and herons but no small wading birds, as I was hoping for. The mudbanks were covered with water and that changes the food supply for sandpipers and other shore birds.

The real fun started when I heard the “whee-hee-hee-hee-hee” call of a Sora right next to me and it was answered from other places around. These rails are very small and it is not easy to spot them. For the next hour I was busy to capture the story of this little bird, how they walk with their big feet on floating debris, how they feed, and how good they can hide. The Sora feeds mainly on insects, mollusks, snails, seeds of plants, and duckweed. They rake floating vegetation with their feet and even pull it aside with their bill and search for food visually. Well, no sandpipers today, but I still have images from yesterday that I may post during the upcoming week. So please stay tuned…! 😊