In recent years birders have begun to discover certain locations where Yellow Rails seem to concentrate during migration. One of the prime places for this has been Red Slough Wildlife Management Area in far southeastern Oklahoma. A former rice plantation that in recent years has been converted into a marsh complex that is one of the best birding locations in Oklahoma.
So in hope of spotting some of the rare and beautiful Yellow Rails that I had known so well at Seney NWR I found myself dragging a rope across acres of wet fields on a beautiful October morning. One of the few ways to get the notoriously Yellow Rails to show themselves is to drag a rope with attached weighted bottles in a line with a large group of people behind it. If you are lucky perhaps you will get a brief look at a tiny dark rail with white patches on the back of their wings flush in front of you.
Sort of like this guy in the above photograph.
Some lucky birders watching the Yellow Rail fly above the wet fields of Red Slough WMA.
And if you are very lucky you get to see this happen not once or twice but five times in one morning!
Other birds seen on a Yellow Rail drag at Red Slough include quite a few Sedge Wrens and LeConte's Sparrows.