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Inspiring and Supporting Photographers of Australian Birds

Australian Spotted Crake

Australian Spotted Crake (Image ID 46177)
CommentNever having seen a Crake before and having read in Tim Dolby and Rohan Clarke’s ”Finding Australian Birds” that Crakes are to be found “skulking along muddy edges in close proximity to reedbeds and saltmarsh” at Werribee Treatment Plant, and also being advised that dawn was the best time to sight them, I made the effort to get up well before dawn (not too hard being more of a lark than an owl, biorhythmically speaking) and spent the best part of a morning scouring the edges of the T-Section Lagoon and the Spit next to the Western Lagoon in the hope of sighting one of these famously shy and elusive birds. All to no avail. No Spotted spotted. By midday I had made my way, Crake-less, to the Little River Bird Hide for lunch and some shore bird observation. I was just walking back to my car when I noticed out of the corner of my eye some barely perceptible movement in coastal shrub next to a saline pool. I very gingerly and carefully took a closer look and there it was: my first Crake, a Spotted Crake according to my bird guide, with its white spots on brown upper-parts, red eye, and barred flanks. All birds have their own special beauty, especially so when you see them for the first time, and this one was no exception. Its grey blue front, spotted cloak, and intense look, all seemed of a piece with the surrounding water and reflected saltbush foliage. Monet had his lilies. I have my Crake.
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