Breeding crakes at McGraths Hill

To: Birding-aus <>
Subject: Breeding crakes at McGraths Hill
From: John Clifton-Everest <>
Date: Mon, 25 Jan 1999 12:54:26 +1100
I know others have seen more, and more spectacular species, but a visit
visit to McGrath?s Hill treatment works on Saturday (23/1) resulted for
us in at least 3 Australian Spotted Crakes and at least 2 Baillons
Crakes.  However the highlight was undoubtedly the fluffy black Baillons
Crake chick, smaller than a ping-pong ball, scurrying after its parent
through the reeds. (Credit goes to my wife Jenny Evans, for first
spotting the diminutive thing, though I also got a good view!)  The
chick had a strikingly yellow bill. It is encouraging to know that the
revamping of the McGraths Hill wetlands a couple of years ago has
already provided a suitable breeding-site for these crakes!
Other interesting things seen:
Two pairs of Pink-eared Ducks
a pair of Chestnut-breasted Mannekins
2 Pacific herons
Golden-headed cisticolas (heard but not seen).

John M. Clifton-Everest
Department of Germanic Studies
University of Sydney

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