Revelstoke, Trail, Nelson, Kimberley, Cranbrook, Kootenays
At approx 5.45am Sunday (24th June) I was walking the Slocan Valley rail trail heading south 500m from Gravel Pits Road, Slocan, when a covey (8) of relatively long-legged (2") quail-looking birds crossed the rail-bed ahead of me one by one. Unfortunately I only had 10x42s with me, no scope, but individuals moved very quickly anyway. Light was not great as it was heavily shaded, but I saw a clear small slightly declined head plume/crest on every bird; each appeared the same size (est. L8-10") rather than as a brood with young; each individual crossed the open space individually with 10-20 sec intervals, never two birds together; stance was very upright, like Scaled Quail, rather than forward-leaning and overall body-shape appeared quite skinny rather than plump; I noted clear dark spotted (teardrop?) dense breast patterning from throat down (but it was very hard to get a fix...) and no discernible head patterning - but that was possibly due to distance and seeing each individual for about 4 seconds). eBird suggests no quail sp. for the area, but there may be local introductions. Birds would hesitate at the covered edge, then dash to the other side, wait, and then walk slowly into undergrowth. Two stopped in the open space. I would welcome any thoughts or local wisdom.
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