Re: Spotless Crakes

Subject: Re: Spotless Crakes
From: Mark Bennett <>
Date: Wed, 9 Apr 1997 14:28:17 +1000 (EET)
Rusell Woodford wrote:

>I made a quick visit to Belmont Common on Saturday afternoon.  Aidan 
>was there to see the Spotless Crake, and sure enough, he found it but 
>then announced a SECOND crake nearby.  Both clearly Spotless and 
>looking very nice through Aidan's scope.  The 'first' crake rushed at 
>the 'second' a couple of times while we watched it.  

>Is it normal for a pair of Spotted Crakes to be so possessive about 
>their bit of mud (as Aidan pointed out, there was plenty to go around) 
>or was this something to do with courtship?

>Anyway, they were very nice to look.  I've never seen TWO at once 
>before (who has?).

On 28/3/97 I went down to Belmont Common to try and see the Spotless
Crake and was rewarded with 3 individuals! A couple of times I had all
3 in the scope at the same time. I too noted the possesive behaviour.
However, it appeared that 2 of the crakes were feeding in close
proximity to each other but would not tolerate the presence of the
third. At times, both birds would activily chase this third "outsider"
away. The crakes offered superb views and fed for extended periods on
the mud in front of reeds.

Next stop that day was Queenscliff (southern Bellarine Peninsula, about
20-30km from Geelong, Vic) as John Boyce had told me of a Grey-tailed
Tattler on the rocks at the foreshore which was allowing close views. I
found it very quickly (thanks John) on a rock only a few metres from
shore and it was in breeding plumage. Tattlers are not common in

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