Monday, 31 August 2009

Spotting the Spotted Crake

OK, now I need a couple of good excuses for the crap photos that I took of the following bird a few days ago. So, as you can see from the photo below the weather was far from ideal. It was gloomy and overcast and tending to drizzle every now and then. Couple this with the fact that the bird was just a bit too distant for my 70-300ml lens and those are the excuses I'm sticking to. Apart from that, it was a real thrill to even get to see this bird let alone photograph it. It is a rare breeding bird in Britain and also tends to be very skulking, preferring to slip unobtrusively in amongst the vegetation at the waters edge.Early Saturday morning I thought I'd go down to the Somerset Levels, but rather than go to my usual haunts, I decided to try a couple of different areas. I'm very glad I did. This bird was at the RSPB's newest reserve at Greylake. It is a bit further for me to drive, but only by about 15 minutes or so. I shall definitely be going back there in future.The Spotted Crake is a Starling sized Rail which is a rare and local breeder in Britain, mainly in Scotland. This appears to be a juvenile bird due to the lack of black on the face and minimal red to the base of the bill.It certainly seems to find itself pretty handsome!The buff undertail coverts are diagnostic.In my next post, I'll show a couple of the other birds I found at this lovely reserve.

14 comments:

Eve said...

Lucky you!!! Jenny I think this is a wonderful post and I love the pictures of this rare bird looking at his reflection! What a beauty and congrats!

Roy said...

Wow, that is one big "tick" Jen.
Really good images under the circumstances.

Jenny said...

Hi Evie, thanks for that. It was amazing to see it so out in the open. A real treat!

Hi Roy, yes a good year tick for me and the best views I've ever had of one of these.

Chris said...

HI Jenny,
Surely not the easiest bird to take into pictures!! But you got it and quite beautifully. Well done!

Roy said...

beautiful beautiful header

Rural Rambler said...

Very interesting bird Jenny. I have never heard of the Spotted Crake. I enjoyed checking out Greylake through your link. I am amazed at the beautiful areas close to home that you are able to drive to and see such wonderous things!

Jenny said...

Hi Chris, I guess my photos could have been a bit better if the light had been better, but I'm really not going to complain!

Hi Roy, thanks, I'm glad you like it. I've put it as my desktop at the moment. (-:

Hi Pix, you know if you ever wanted to take a tour around Somerset, I'd be happy to show you around over here! (-:

TonyC said...

Hi Jen, nice pics - I've never heard of Greylake - where is it?

Kelly said...

....you made me laugh. That first sentence did me in! I've never seen a Spotted Crake (nor heard of it)--but I loved the looks of it in your photos--cool!

Kelly said...

p.s. Love the header photo...

Mary said...

Glad you saw it and got photos, even if you aren't totally happy with them. I like the ones with the reflections. Look pretty good for having bad conditions. I think few of us are ever satisfied with the photos we get at a distance.

Jenny said...

Hi Tony, on the main road through Glastonbury and Street, turn left at Ashcott (A361)and it is about 2 or 3 miles down that road. Click on the Greylake link and it might have a map, I'm not sure. Are you going to pop over from OZ and go birding there with me??? (-:

Hi Kelly, I'm glad I made you laugh, that's always good! (-: I love rails and crakes, but they can be soooo hard to see as they're generally so skulking.

Hi Mary, you're right about generally not being happy with photos taken, but I still love it if that makes sense!

Steve B said...

Wow, these are wonderful photos.

Paula said...

What wonderful photographs! How lucky you are to see such a rarity and to get such sweet close photos! Bravo!