||Tropical Birding Guide Scott Watson picked Mary Kay Teel, Nancy and I up at our hotel after grabbing Philip Martin at the Houston Int'l Airport. We trundled down the freeways around Houston and eventually east on I-10 towards beautiful downtown Winnie, Texas. From there we headed down Texas 124 to Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge. After some car birding around the Refuge, we joined a Yellow Rail drag. There are only a very few of these a year, to minimize the impact on the birds. But it works like this.
Two guides hold the ends of a 50 foot long rope. At five foot intervals on the rope there are plastic milk jugs with a few pebbles in them. The rope is dragged through the grasses in hopes of spooking up a Yellow Rail. Because Rails can move through the grasses at amazing speeds, this is done at a very fast walk. Birders trail the rope by a few feet, watching for the movement of the Rail. When one turns up, you surround the bird with birders. They can fly away, of course. But they don't right away.