Eyes open . . .

. . . even on a blistering hot day when everything seems slow and quiet, can pay dividends.

Out with the 7D II setup, which seems to be my current default option heading out the door, I couldn’t help but chuckle at the sight of egrets and even pipits seeking shade from the lamp posts and few spindly trees on the “developed” side of the patch.

There were no lapwings or plovers along the seawall; and just as I had resigned myself to a quiet walk, a pair of Pacific Reef Herons flew by. Neither a common sight nor an oddity here, except for one thing: one of them was the dark morph (1st shot below), second one I’ve seen here, the first having been nine or ten years ago.

A good bit later, heading inland near my kingfisher friend’s turf, I heard a commotion coming from the muddy scrub in the distance. It sounded like a Reed Warbler, but I knew it could not be. It wasn’t. Getting closer, I could tell it was a rail of some sort, but didn’t know until I got back and did some research that it was a Band-Bellied Crake (2nd shot below), a near-threatened critter who’s likely a very uncommon passage migrant.

Those two alone made it worth the walk—well, those two and my kingfisher friend showing up to greet me on this hot day. Plenty of time ahead to shut the eyes for a nice, cool slumber later, to rest them so they can hopefully spot a couple more wonders of nature tomorrow . . .

7D II/100-400mm IS II/EF 1.4X III
7D II/100-400mm IS II/EF 1.4X III