porzana (crake) carolina (of Carolina)
Monday, April 21, 1980 — 12:00 noon
Northbrook, Illinois — golf course
I was only wearing one contact this day. I think I lost the other one the day before at Baker’s Lake. I went out with a friend at lunch anyway. We walked across a small field, over some railroad tracks, across a road, and on to a golf course.
We were walking along the edge of a small pond in the center of the course. I saw a bird flush from a thin strip of reeds and fly about ten feet to another small strip. I followed, stepping up on a log to get a better view. The Sora scooted through the reeds and stood in the open for a few seconds, but I didn’t get a very good look. Besides having blurred vision, I was falling backward of the log. I picked myself up and looked again, but the Sora was gone. The strip of reeds was about two feet wide and ten feet long, but that was big enough for the bird to hide in. We searched and searched, but we couldn’t find it.
I went back after work to try again. As I approached the strip of reeds, the Sora flushed and headed out across the pond away from me. It ran across the surface with its feet dangling, splashing the surface as it went. About 25 feet from shore, it disappeared under the water. We circled the pond for another half hour, but the bird was not to be found.