Monday, 6 April 2015

The 'Mythological' Water Rail

The Diary today ate humble pie.

Having, for some very long time, scoffed at the idea there might be a resident water rail at Achosnich, describing the bird as 'mythological', the long-sought after photographic evidence has finally arrived.

There shouldn't be any water rails at Achosnich.  It's way outside their general distribution - see RSPB site here, which states categorically that the species is "absent from upland areas", and Achosnich also lacks the sort of lowland wetland/lake environments favoured by the bird.

The BBC Nature site, here, describes it as an, "oddity among British birds", not least for, its "pig-like squealing, and a fondness for impaling wrens with a spear thrust of the beak".  The site continues, "They are unpredictable and noisy, yet reclusive."

So, apologies to Mr Richard O'Connor of Achosnich, though the matter could have been sorted much earlier had Mr O'Connor made a habit of taking his camera out with him when he fed his birds, rather than hurrying back to the house to collect it each time the rail appeared.

Photo courtesy Richard O'Connor, with thanks.

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