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Sunday, 9 September 2012

Back to the Baillon's

I was lucky enough to see the BAILLON'S CRAKE as soon as I arrived in the hide early yesterday morning but I was left wanting more of this exceptional bird after getting only misty binocular views early yesterday morning. I gave it another go with Alex Bowes yesterday evening for further views but the bird was not game.

As the Banstead Countryside Day today drew to a close, Phil and I decided to give it a shot once we'd packed everything away. Phil hadn't yet been and still needed it even for his world list, despite being well-travelled recently. The journey went smoothly and we were soon on site. The hide was busy again, there were even people there that had arrived the previous day ten minutes too late in the morning and had been there till the hide shut in the evening when I returned. This certainly is a bird that requires patience.

The crake gave prolonged scope views this evening as darkness fell, while it perched in the reeds

Shortly before 7.00pm people started calling the bird from the right hand end of the hide, and some at that end were managing to get on it but the birders were not being at all helpful with directions for everybody else and it took ten minutes before everyone was clear on where it had been seen, by which point it was too late. It got to 7.20pm and the bird hadn't appeared again; the hide was closing in ten minutes' time and I was getting rather miffed. It was a relief, then, when it was shouted again... it was a bit of a struggle getting on it but thankfully the bird was sitting in one position for long enough for everybody to get their scopes on it and get good views before closing time. I'd got my desired scope views and record shots so was very happy to go home and not have to worry about it again!