Back on the Rails

2011_10_10 ClV - Water Rail (Rallus aquaticus) 03
Water Rail (Rallus aquaticus)

Last week I was rather sick with a cold. The temperature was 26-30C each day and it killed me to have to stay in for most of it. Thankfully it´s passed now and I was able to get back on track and into the field.

And so it was a nice welcome to see a bird I hadn´t seen since September 2009, the Water Rail. I think there were two but I never saw both at the same time. One was quite active in swimming across the small patch of river to the stone causeway where it would catch a freshwater crayfish and then swim back and climb into the reeds.

2011_10_10 ClV - Water Rail (Rallus aquaticus) 04
Water Rail (Rallus aquaticus)

The sun was dipping rapidly so the shots are a bit grainy. A family then came along but unlike many others, saw that I was taking photos and waited, and eventually approached quietly and slowly. The father was also a birdwatcher and was very apologetic. I was far happier, knowing that some people do actually appreciate what it is to see, how to see and how to respect wildlife by being quiet. Very refreshing. I know I harp on a bit about people approaching noisily, maybe it´s because so many places I go are near paths and tracks where people do go. But to have people out looking for wildlife and being quiet about it, well, I don´t mind that sort of disturbance. Especially when they are as happy to see a Water Rail as I am.

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