birding-aus Birding-aus Re : Call of Baillons Crake

Subject: birding-aus Birding-aus Re : Call of Baillons Crake
From: David Stewart <>
Date: Mon, 01 Feb 1999 11:31:28 +1100

To all

There have been a number of messages over the last week about Crakes and the
Little Bittern at McGraths Hill treatment works.

Some birding-aus subscribers would know I have a great interest in bird
calls. Over the years I have prepared Field Survey tapes for NSW National
Parks to assist in surveying rare and cryptic bird species. The sound of
Baillons Crake I have used on these tapes is from New Zealand. I have never
met or heard from anyone in Australia who has recorded, or even heard this
species call.

I have played the NZ sound at Baillons Crake as close as two metres on Fauna
Surveys in north-eastern NSW, but never has the targeted bird shown any
interest in the NZ call.

I would be interested to know if anybody has heard or recorded the call of
this species. HANZAB has a comment that this Crake is generally silent
compared to other Crakes. There are a number of descriptions of calls in
HANZAB, but very little seems to have been published in recent times. The
sonogram in HANZAB is that of a call recorded in New Zealand.

As other species of Crake have a range of calls I would ask people to be
certain that the call they have heard is Baillons Crake. In other words you
would need to see the bird calling to be certain of the identity of the bird

It may be appropriate for people to reply direct to me on this subject.

Thank you 

David Stewart

Reply-To: "EDWIN VELLA" <>
From: "EDWIN VELLA" <>
To: <>
Date: Tue, 26 Jan 1999 17:34:44 +1100
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To All
The Little Bittern was still calling this morning at the same pond a few
days ago but was not seen. However the Baillons crake chick that John
saw on Saturday was seen ( a really tiny black thing with orange beak).
There were upto 10 adults and very easy to see. Also there was still
atleast 2 Australian Spotted and 2 Spotless Crakes about (the later only
heard calling but frequently). Also of note was a Black-headed x
Chestnut-breasted Mannakin seen a couple of metres in front of us in the
reeds with other Chestnut-breasted Mannakins (It had a black hood but
underpart markings like that of the Chestnut-breasted).
One bird that really got our attention was a Sandpiper about the size of
a Snipe, but the same colour as a Sharp-tailed Sandpiper. It flew above
our heads and I only could just see it had a wholly white rump, pale
underwings and a long thin bill but that Is all I could see. I am
familiar with the usual sandpipers that turn up around Sydney but I can
not think what it could be. I tried to follow where it landed through my
binoculars and it did so briefly on a post but then took off again over
a hill. Anyone heading out to the Sewrage works ought to keep an eye out
on this one. A mystery bird indeed !

(Dr) Barbara Stewart,
PO Box 256, 
Mullumbimby 2482

Ph/Fax 61 02 66840127


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