25 Jan 2023

Going off the Rails

With a freshwater creek at the bottom of the garden our daughters place in Australia attracts a few water birds. Last year I was lucky enough to see two fully fledged Buff-banded Rail chicks feeding out in the open  - see here.

After some particularly heavy rain one day I noticed an adult rail hanging around long enough to run back inside and get the camera. The reason for its reluctance to go far was revealed when it started softly calling and a small black fluffy chick joined it. Both birds disappeared under the fence separating the garden from the surrounding Crown Land and vanished into the long vegetation.

Realising it was coming to feed in the early mornings, before the garden got to busy, I staked it out and spent a happy hour watching this normally skulking denizen of creeks, dams and wetlands meander around the vegetable patch!

They're beautiful birds and remind me a bit of Water Rails in the UK in the way they become habituated to human disturbance and become quite confiding.

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