Sitting on a houseboat in Amsterdam, I was amazed to receive this article on my Yahoo news page this week. The Rufous-necked wood-rail (Aramides axillaris) is a rail of very restricted range in Costa Rica. At first I thought the bird in question was the closely related and much more widespread Gray-necked wood-rail (Aramides cajanea). US birders were given a wonderful treat as this species showed up in the States for the first time ever, in New Mexico. Birders there express surprise that the bird walks about in the open, but it is really fairly common behaviour for wood-rails, which often turn up even quite far from water.
Actually, I’m still waiting to find the Gray-necked on my home patch in San Antonio de Santa Cruz de Turrialba. I imagined the Rufous-necked to be impossible, since it is found in only a scant few places in Costa Rica, none of them near Turrialba, but if it can show up in New Mexico I believe a have more than a fighting chance. NowI won’t be home for quite a while and my next post will, of necessity, deal with a sighting here near Amsterdam.