Found in the Chesapeake Bay area (Blackwater Refuge) in a cut site that was formerly forested, this is a tidal marsh area.
Seen in Chesapeake Bay tidal marsh. (Blackwater Refuge.)
Seen in tidal marsh area of the Chesapeake Bay
Unexpected life bird! From the elevated viewing platform, with an active group looking at bald eagles behind me, this rail popped into view in a patch in the marsh. Crappy photos, but I think the following characteristics support a Virgina rail over an clapper rail: head with contrasting cap, red-eye, red-orange bill, buffy brown belly, with dark and white flanks. Happy to hear second opinions though.