And the bush has friends to meet him, and their kindly voices greet him, In the murmur of the breezes and the river on its bars,
And he sees the vision splendid of the sunlit plains extended, And at night the wonderous glory of the everlasting stars.

Banjo Paterson (1889)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Australian Spotted Crakes

Heavy late spring rains in Perth have kept the water levels in the local lakes up and have created excellent crake habitats. Thomsons Lake, normally with only a large patch of water in the middle and dry reedbeds all around, has about 2 inches of water throughout most of the reeds, a perfect crake environment. After reading the numerous birder emails going backwards and forwards about 'Crake Heaven' at Thomsons, it was time to visit the lake myself!

It's certainly is 'crake heaven' at the moment! I have never seen so many Australian Spotted Crakes in one area before, maybe a dozen or more. Normally you can see or hear the dark Spotless Crakes at Thomsons Lake fairly easily, but this time we only managed to see one, the area has been taken over by the Spotteds!

This area is usually dry mud and reeds by now, but it's looking pretty good this year.

The Spotted Crakes were not too concerned about us and approached unusally close, more interested in catching the small invertebrates on and under the water.

The south-east section of Thomsons Lake in probably the most ideal crake habitat at the moment.

The beautiful little Baillon's Crakes were also making an appearance, but in lower numbers. These little guys are my favourite crake species I think!

It was a wonderful morning spent watching all 3 local crake species at the one spot, normally quite a challenge.

The weather forecast looks windy and a little stormy for this week in Perth, but if there's a chance, it may be time to drag the big video camera there and try to get some crake footage!


Wilma said...

that first shot is magical!

Fred said...

Awesome shots cuz, I have to get down there this week.

Chris Steeles said...

Love these photos! well done! Crakes are never easy... though it looks like they were cooperating for you on this occassion!!

- Yvonaut -
Das sind Raphael und Yvonne

Lots of great pictures on your blog!
Nice to see all these australian animals and landscapes!

Greetings from Switzerland
Yvonne & Raphael