Steve Rodan discovered a calling Black Rail at the beginning of the west path in the South Cape May Meadows around 5:00pm this afternoon. The bird continued to vocalize sporadically for the next two hours.
Its appearance here is likely a result of the recent flooding in the Mid-Atlantic (rain and tidal) that has quite likely pushed numerous birds out of their normal breeding territories. Likewise, all the recent rains have made the normally dry upland habitat at the Meadows much wetter than usual, and in turn have temporarily provided somewhat suitable habitat for species such as Black Rail.
If you go for this bird, please do not stray from the path or otherwise disturb the bird, and bear in mind that it is illegal to play tape recordings of Black Rail in New Jersey.
Other birds in the Meadows this evening included 3 Brown Pelicans offshore, and at least two Least Bitterns along the east path.