As in most weekends, I woke up early an headed out-of-town. The sun was not yet out and the morning was clear and purple. It felt good to be out on the road listening to Jack Johnson. I drove west towards Baní, where Salinas and its marvellous sand dune are located, but instead turned via Los Corbanitos; a paradisiac deserted beach where sometimes flamingoes visit. The mangroves look healthy and the water is clean, the pelicans dive violently into the water and once in a while you can see an iguana near by.
That morning I had one target: The Clapper Rail (Rallus longirostris). I had tried with no success before but this time I had refined my technique. The sun was just coming out and the purplish morning had turned pink and orange. It was crisp and cool and I felt things were going my way. I picked a spot in front of the mangroves, laid in the moist sand and covered my self with leaves and branches. Then I waited.. I just waited and waited for over 45 minutes. I could hear the waves crashing on the shore, I could hear the weavers making noise in the bushes behind me.. I saw a kestrel fly by me, I saw pelicans with a mouthful of fish and I even saw vervain hummingbirds perch on the mangrove, but still I waited.
The suddenly I was a long orange beak slowly coming out of the mangroves, slowly and cautiously the bird walk out, he took two slow steps and then rushed again to the mangroves. It did the same a few times and the finally, when it thought it was safe, it calmed down and walked into the open. But to my surprise a second rail walked just behind him. I also calmed my self, trying not to make any noise and I took the first shot, the second and so on. I was very pleased with the photos from that morning: the light was good, the bird had collaborated and patience had once again paid off.