20 January 2013 – all about a crake…

News had broken during the course of yesterday of a Baillon’s Crake that was photographed at Intaka Island Wetland Reserve and, since this was still a bird that we needed for our challenge list, it made the decision as to what would be done today. Up early and I was at Intaka by 6am. I walked straight to the hide where the bird had been seen and soon realized that apparently I was not the only one that had decided to chase this bird. The hide was pretty packed and, as I walked in, all the cameras were pointed out of the hide and the shutters were going crazy. I quickly and quietly grabbed an open seat not wanting to disturb anyone and looked out of the hide to see the Baillon’s Crake walking around out in the open. I grabbed the camera and fired off a few shots. Unfortunately, the crake was walking around in an area that was in total shade, so some quick changes to the settings and I was firing off again. It stayed out for a few more minutes before disappearing back into the reeds and it seems like I had timed my arrival absolutely perfectly…!

Baillon's Crake

Baillon’s Crake

Twitchers in the hide (thanks to Johan Slabbert for the photo)

Twitchers in the hide (thanks to Johan Slabbert for the photo)

Just a few seconds later and my phoned beeped with a text message. It was from Tinus Lamprecht and it read “Baillon’s Crake showing well now at Intaka”. I had obviously come in so quietly to the hide that nobody had even realized that I was there…! I leaned back and saw Tinus sitting just a few people away from me in the hide and thanked him personally for sending me the update – it’s certainly the first time I have ever had the opportunity to thank someone personally for sending a rarity update. I then quickly typed out an email to send to SA Rare Bird News and then waited for the crake to re-appear.

I spent a couple more hours in the hide watching the crake (which only came out a few more times) and also photographing a few of the other common species there, but most of the time was spent chatting to friends – these twitches often turn into quite large social events as well. All in all, a good morning and I was home by 10:30am with a challenge tick in the bag…:)

Black-crowned Night Heron

Black-crowned Night Heron

Lesser Swamp Warbler

Lesser Swamp Warbler

Purple Heron

Purple Heron


~ by hardakerwildlife on February 6, 2013.

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