Saturday, 1 April 2017

All three crakes

I love watching crakes and it's a good day for me when I see all three together. Today at Besor Reservoir I saw them all along a 2 m strip of reeds.

I hadn't been to Besor for a couple of weeks and was very happy to see that water was still flowing in. In one reed fringed pool I caught a glimpse of a Little Crake but it retreated back into the vegetation. I continued my walk and saw that the other side of the reed strip was both visible and accessible. Then came one of those extraordinary birding moments. First the Little Crake reappeared followed by a Spotted Crake. Two m further along I saw another Spotted Crake sitting in the dense reeds. I then caught a flick of movement near the water's edge. Baillon's Crake! A third Spotted briefly joined the throng. The next 40 minutes was spent watching these beautiful little Porzanas feeding.




Spotted Crake resting in the reeds.

The whole area was very birdy. Great Spotted Cuckoos were calling, Bee-eaters have arrived, Quail flushed from under my feet, White Storks, Glossy Ibis, Grey and Purple Herons were feeding

along with a single Pelican (beautiful summer plumage).

On the way back to the car a pair of Namaqua Doves showed well (albeit against the light and the wrong side of fences).

On the way to Besor I stopped off to check for wagtails at a manure composting site. Not disappointed. This is the Grey-headed spp (Motacilla thunbergi). 

(Thank you, Yoav Perlman for the correct id.)

Black-headed (M. feldegg) are much easier.

Red-throated Pipits too - coming into summer plumage.

Finally, this Water Pipit.

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