Mon Jan 25, 2016 7:44 am
Mon Jan 25, 2016 12:40 pm
Mon Jan 25, 2016 12:42 pm
Mon Jan 25, 2016 12:43 pm
Mon Jan 25, 2016 12:47 pm
Mon Jan 25, 2016 12:48 pm
Mon Jan 25, 2016 12:52 pm
Mon Jan 25, 2016 12:52 pm
Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:35 am
I see a lot of people asking why the SPOTTED CRAKE at Waterfall Estate in Midrand is causing so much excitement, so here are a few comments and thoughts if you have nothing better to do…:)
Firstly, Spotted Crake is a regular annual migrant in low numbers into Southern Africa and is present every year in the northern parts of the subregion. It is, however, fairly unusual for them to make it all the way down to South Africa, although it is not unprecedented and there are plenty of previous records of this happening. What is unprecedented though is the number of Spotted Crakes that are currently in South Africa – I’m not personally aware of there ever having been so many of them around in the country at any one time. So, on the rarity scale, it’s not quite a mega, but it’s still a rather good bird…
So, what makes the Midrand one so popular? Well, it is right in the middle of the part of the country with the highest density of birders, it is really just a short drive from most parts of urban Gauteng and it is also in an easily accessible spot. What makes it even better is that it is hanging around a small pond, so you don’t have to search through acres and acres of habitat to find it, and also, it is extremely confiding and acting very un-Spotted Crake-like. These birds are notorious skulkers and generally don’t afford good views whereas this bird is doing exactly the opposite. So, in short, this is literally one of the best ever opportunities to get fantastic close-up views of this bird in South Africa.
What drives people to go and see it? Well, that will differ from one person to the next? Some will be driven by the numbers because they get to add another bird to their lifelist, some will want to take advantage of the fantastic photographic opportunities and some will just realize that this is a pretty unusual opportunity to get awesome views of this normally rather secretive species.
Whatever the case, it is an opportunity not to be missed! I have seen this species a number of times before in the subregion, but also travelled up from Cape Town on the weekend to enjoy it, partly because my wife had never seen one before (and I took her along) and partly because I realized what a great opportunity it would be to spend time with this confiding individual and just enjoy the unparalleled views of it.
Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:39 am