Saturday, April 28, 2012

Sora Happy To See You Again

 Our first sighting of a Sora this year was on a bird walk at McHenry Dam led by Karen Lund.
I highly recommend joining one of her walks.
Lots of birds, good company and a great learning experience.
I saw my first Yellow-throated Warbler on this walk. Their song is beautiful. 
The Sora however was my favorite sighting during this walk.
My husband and I saw our first Sora in May 2009 at Afton Prairie.
He found the bird during a walk on my birthday.
We didn't know what it was at the time which made thumbing through our field guides very exciting. 

This walk at McHenry Dam was on April 14, 2012. I was busy phographing a sweet grebe couple when my husband proclaims "Sora!" The group quickly formed around him eyes peeled. A huge smile grew across my face as I caught sight of it. The memory of him finding it for me on my birthday a few years before came flooding back. Both times we saw a Sora he was the one to find it.
This time we knew exactly what it was!

Swamp Sparrow can usually be seen foraging along with Sora. We saw this one later on the same visit to McHenry Dam.

Soras are shy and like marshy areas with shallow water areas.

 They can often be seen along the edges of the marshy waters foraging.

Each time we have viewed them they quietly walk along flitting their tail up and down as they move along the edge of the shallow water. Up and down, up and down, fun to watch.

Here it is entering a secluded little cove like entry into the marshy grasses.

 These last two views are from our May 2009 sighting. My birthday bird sighting from my husband. 
A life sighting for us at the time. It was so close to us we could have touched it. It payed absolutely no attention to us as we stood on the side of the marshy water watching. Up and down went it's tail as it foraged along the edge minding it's own. We were breathless and couldn't wait to dig into our field guides. In 2009 the Sora was on the same side of marshy water we were on. This year it was on the farther side of the marsh.. still wonderful views and breathtaking to watch :)
Sora happy to see you again this year.  We enjoyed wonderful views at both places this year and our fond memories attached to sightings of this bird continue. 
 McHenry Dam and Afton Prairie are both wonderful places to birdwatch in Illinois.


  1. Awesome Sora shots. I got a Sora in a shot a couple of years ago, quite by accident. It has quickly swam by a coot I was focusing on. I would love to see one again!!

  2. What a great find! I have never seen one..thanks for all the fine shots!

  3. Oh Debbie, I'm so happy for you and your ever alert husband. I had my first Sora sighting last year and I was thrilled. Your photographs are fantastic, as always! I love the faint Sora reflections you were able to capture. Such pretty feathers on this interesting bird. A most wonderful post!

  4. The photos of the Sora are beautiful. I love the expressions on its face! I'm writing on behalf of KEEN Footwear because we are inspired by people like you who make the outdoors a priority in their lives. We'd love to have you contribute your expertise to our recess page: You can add your favorite birding spots & photos.

    Thank you!
    KEEN Recess Team

  5. GREAT shots Debbie. The Sora is no push-over, and they don't always like getting their photo taken (or any other form of human company for that matter. Well done getting such great looks, and thank you for sharing!