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Jan 22: A wild crake chase

Up at 0300 and off to Kedron Brook Wetlands. I went early hoping for some interesting nocturnal species, but couldn’t turn anything up whatsoever – not even a brown quail! As dawn broke I found a small grassy pool at the end of one of the grassy rides and saw two waders on it – a Sharp-tailed Sandpiper and a Long-toed Stint! That was nice, although not what I was really after. I scanned around carefully trying to find the Australian Spotted Crakes seen yesterday evening by Rob Morris and Duan Biggs. Try as I might, I just couldn’t locate one, and time was running out – I had to be home by 0630. Chatting with Rob Morris, the best viewing of the area where the crake had been was straight into the morning sun. I gave up and decided to come back in the evening.

After having made the kids a “Spotted Crake Pie” for dinner, I left for Kedron to try another time for the crake. I set up at the west side of the main pool looking east, and within 2-3 minutes had found one working its way along the far bank!!!!! It was much too far for the camera, and my phone-scoping shots were, shall we say less than brilliant. But I was totally over the moon. A small group of other birders had also got onto the bird, which was great.

I left straight away to look for the Common Sandpiper that had been seen yesterday, but the light was fading rapidly and I didn’t hold out much hope. I bumped into Louis Backstrom and had a nice chat while we wandered around dipping Common Sandpiper.

I am way behind with photos – hope to get some uploaded in the next day or two.

Australian Spotted Crake was the only year tick of the day, and my year list at the end of the day was 201 species. I spent 3 hours 49 minutes birding, walked 6.89 km and drove 73.0 km.

Spotted Crake Pie