Thursday, 13 August 2015

Spotted crake, Blacktoft

When I only have a short amount of time to spend birding, spotted crakes are generally not the species of choice because although they can show incredibly well at times, they can also be very elusive and often offer only fleeting glimpses for every few hours spent waiting, so valuable time can be wasted watching nothing but the reeds grow. On the otherhand they're great little birds and crakes and rails are one of my favourite families, so if I'm in the vicinity of one I'm always tempted to give it a go, especially if the secondary prize is a family of Montagu's harriers.

Fortunately todays spotted crake fell into the showing well category. It walked and sometimes ran along the edge of the reeds in front of First Hide, occasionally feeding and sometimes bathing. It was probably on view for about 20 minutes out of the 45 minutes or so I spent in the hide. A great bird. Unfortunately the Monty's were not so obliging and failed to show while I was watching. Two green sandpipers and a water rail were the best of the rest.

Spotted crake and moorhen. It always amazes me how small the crakes are.

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