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Yesterday 9-21-2021, I went to San Elijo Lagoon at Cardiff-by-the-Sea (San Diego County) and photographed coastal birds for the first time.  So I've got several new birds that I need to identify.

Their signature bird seemed to be the Ridgway's Rail judging from the signs and illustrations.

I think I photographed one, but in all of the photos I've seen of Ridgway's Rail they are always walking on the ground, or standing in mud or very shallow water.  This one was mostly swimming.  I first saw it in the middle of a channel, then it swam over to the bank and proceeded swimming down the shoreline (100 feet or more) looking under the brush.  When it was swimming it would jut its head forward and back.  I think this is a Ridgway's Rail, but I'm not certain.

2021-09-21_Elijo_Lagoon_2625_w.jpg

2021-09-21_Elijo_Lagoon_2642_w.jpg

2021-09-21_Elijo_Lagoon_2667_w.jpg

2021-09-21_Elijo_Lagoon_2671_w.jpg

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24 minutes ago, Quiscalus quiscula said:

So was Ridgway's Rail split from another rail species? Because I don't have it in my Western field guide.

Yes. Clapper Rail was split in 3, including Mangrove Rail (South America)

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