Sunday 9 September 2012

Biding our time for the Baillon's crake

Was it worth the wait? Did we see it? Read on.

Got to Rainham RSPB at about 6pm where those nice people in the RSPB had decided to keep the reserve open on a Sunday till 8pm! Thank you all the staff.

Trudged round to the hide but the bird was nowhere to be seen. The hide was heaving. Then someone saw it briefly but not many could get onto it before it retreated into the reeds again. Standing on a swivel stool was risky but necessary to see over the heads of everyone and to get a better angle on where the bird had just been.

After over an hour one man left disgruntled saying he had been there since early morning but not had a glimpse because nobody could give any accurate instructions as to where they were seeing the crake!!

At nearly 19.25, the RSPB person announced that the hide would be closing at 7.30 so the reserve could close at 8. We started to pack up slowly. Suddenly, someone next to me announced that the crake was climbing up the reeds just in front of us. I quickly got onto it. It was already dark in the hide. I cranked up the ISO to 3200 and took a few shots before we had to leave.

Well, it was another lifer for me.
Baillon's crake - juvenile. It kept us waiting until the light was really poor.
This shot and the one following was taken at ISO 3200 and 1/25
Baillon's crake - juvenile.

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