• Big Red
    • lab3
Aug 17: A piece of crake

I’m heading off to Vancouver tomorrow to attend the International Ornithological Congress. Two thousand birdwatchers gathered for a week to talk about birds. Not everyone’s idea of fun, but I’m really looking forward to it. And I’ll get in a bit of birding here and there, mainly targeting grouse species.

Today I took the day off work, since I’ll be away from family for 10 days. After dropping our daughter at school, I couldn’t resist a quick shot at Baillon’s Crake. I drove the short distance to Sandy Camp Road Wetlands and wandered around for a bit (eBird list here). Simply no sign of the crake in any of the usual spots I see them there. It was a sunny day, and by 10.30 it was getting really warm, and not feeling at all likely for a crake. Yet in stark contrast to Europe, where they are really skulking, Baillon’s can be very showy on their spring passage through Brisbane, so after chatting with a birder who was visiting from Canberra, I decided to give the eastern end of the main lagoon one last shot before leaving. Unbelievably there was a Baillon’s Crake right out in the open, parading around on the lilypads like some sort of diminutive jacana!

Brilliant. This was the last of the regularly occurring species that I needed to see for my Big Year, and I could leave for Vancouver knowing that I’d caught up with everything available before my trip. 10 days out of Brisbane is risky, but I’ll just have to wear the consequences. Back 28th August.

With one year tick today (Baillon’s Crake), my year list rose to 296 species. I spent 1 hours 12 minutes birding, walked 1.793 km and drove 29.5 km. My chronological year list is here.

Baillon’s Crake at Sandy Camp Road Wetland today.