Water Rail


Don’t think I really need to say much about this photo… there are a few more though so click to read more!



Water Rail are amazing birds, they are similar to Moorhen and Coot in that they are plump wetland birds.  However they are rarely seen and have an amazing screeching call that is described as a piglet squealing.  I normally only see a few of these birds a year and have never seen a young one before.  That changed after Skokholm as they seem to like it out here and the resident pair have had not one but two broods in the small Well Pond.




Having them this close has meant I’ve been able to catch them in some odd behaviours- including seeing one call and realising what I thought was two birds chatting away is actually just the one with a strange harmonic going on.  Watching such a reclusive bird like this from a nearby hide is pretty cool, seeing them so relaxed that they groom in front of you and parade the odd chick past is something I don’t think I’ll get to see anywhere else!



Water Rail could be classed as a dull bird- their plumage is dappled brown with a grey face and breast after all.  But the vivid red bill and iris combined with a small white tail flash transform them in the shadows of a reedbed.  Their furtive movements that can turn into a rapid dash across open ground also make them fascinating to watch.  And if you haven’t heard them before go and download a clip!

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: