The past few days have seen, by our Ohio standards, a virtual onslaught of Purple Gallinules. PG's are cool by any measure, and this technicolor jumble of glowing feathers normally stays in southern swamps, far south of here. But in the past few days, not one, not two, but THREE have thus far come to light in the Buckeye State.
This blog is a tale of the most famous of the trio, and to that uno momento. I heard about the following gallinule soon after returning from a week in West Virginia, and it drove me crazy. I am busy at work, and it would appear unseemly to immediately dart off again after a rare bird. But, I am a closet lister, but only in Ohio where longevity has allowed me to accumulate a rather massive state list.
And Purple Gallinule is/was not on it. A major nemesis bird for me in Ohio, I had chased several of them striking out on all. So, around 9:30 this morning, Jennifer of Medina County rings me out of the blue, in my office, and makes a compelling case that she has a Purple Gallinule wandering around her yard, only about 20 miles south of the widely seen celebrity gallinule in Lorain County. This is too much - I beg forgiveness and understanding from my boss and shoot northward on I-71.
Arriving at the Jennifer estate, there is no gallinule, anywhere. We look high and low, but there are many places it might have slunk off to and we can't find it. She shows me the photos, though. No fear - the old reliable bird is only 20 miles to the north, so there I go.
Finding the gallinule at the beautiful Columbia Reservation was not hard. At the entrance to the walk was this neat sign pointing the way. The park manager, Linda Paull, is an accomplished birder and she's the one that found the bird. She also runs an EXTREMELY bird and birder friendly park!
For my part, I am grateful to finally have broken the Purple Gallinule curse, and it became #362 on my Ohio list.