Its been about a week since I’ve had a chance to bird at the Bashakill. Actually, I was glad to check out some new spots and take care of some overdue chores. This afternoon, I finally went by Haven Road to check on the water level and see if anything interesting was going on. I immediately spotted a Common Gallinule only forty feet from the road with five chicks! These are the first gallinule chicks I’ve seen this year and it bodes well for the effects of water level. We’ve had a lot of rain over the last month, but it seemed to me that the water never got high enough to cause any nest damage. Another good sign was that the gallinules never changed their behavior, remaining close to nest sites and being calm throughout the storms. This is the second year that no significant flooding has occurred during the nesting season (following three years of mass flooding at that time). It was neat to watch the adult leading and calling to the chicks almost continually. Actually, that is an easy way to locate, just follow the cluck notes. These chicks are not newly hatched, but rather a week or more old. Since there are good numbers of Gallinules at the Bashakill this year, the crop of new chicks should be plentiful. I can’t wait to get back out in the kayak now, hoping to see chicks of other species like both bitterns. I’ll keep you posted!