Saturday, 25 August 2012

Spotted Crake!

I'd been yearning to have a dig at the Spotted Crake at Birstall Meadows over the past few days as it would have been a full-fat life tick but things kept getting in the way until yesterday when I was put off going by a general lack of sightings, leading me to think perhaps it had buggered off...

Which leads me to this morning when I received a text from the lros news service indicating there were now two Crakes present...this pushed me over the edge and I soon got my arse into gear and headed over to Birstall!

I think one of the main reasons why I hadn't headed over sooner was that Crakes are notorious for disappearing for hours upon hours but today couldnt have been simpler really....short walk from the car to the crowd of observers, of whom included Dave Gray and John Hague, the latter staying to help put me onto a Crake when one showed which was very nice of him, although he did raise a false alarm that turned out to be a Water Rail, the nerve! It wasn't long however until a proper Spotted Crake appeared - it truly is satisfying on a biblical level when a life tick occurs in your home county!

Mission accomplished, John went on his way whilst I spent the next hour-or-so Crake watching, in which time I'd imagine that the Crake(s) showed for no more than 5 minutes in total but by my reckonings thats good going! Fairly confident I saw two birds aswell - never got both in the same field of view but one bird appeared paler than the other.

Didnt manage an image of one so you'll have to imagine a Crake roaming around at the back

Also today I finally got round to doing a bit of Owling, finding a couple of juveniles at one site that were a first sighting for me this year - I suspected breeding as there was a pair tightly holding the territory in question earlier in the year but this was the first sign of any juveniles, not a moment too soon either as they were almost fully grown! One posed nicely for me (albeit in poor light conditions) so a couple of images were obtained;


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