Friday, 2 August 2013

What's the Crake

Last day of my hols and decided to try and connect with the juvenile Spotted Crake which had been reported at East Chevington. The signs were not good as when I arrived at the site there seemed to be a mass exodus of birders, one of them had last seen it at about 9.15 am and it hadn't been seen since,this was 3 hours ago. On reaching the hide there were about 10 people there,I had taken a seat and after the first hour I was glad of it. There were about 300 Lapwing plus a number of Common Terns, Sandwich Terns and a single Arctic Tern on the mud, suddenly they all took to the air and someone shouted Peregrine, as the bird got closer it lacked the bulk of a Peregrine and seemed to have narrower wings, as it flew past in front of us it showed off it's orangey/red vent which instantly identified it as an adult Hobby. Time passed slowly and we were about to give up when someone shouted Crake and there it was a tiny little bird which emerged for about 5 seconds and then disappeared only to be seen once more for an even briefer view. Longer views would have been better but this is the more typical sight of a crake, something which probably makes them more attractive to birders is their difficulty to see well. Also of note were 4 Greenshanks, 4 Ruff and one splendid looking Dunlin in his summer finery.

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