Baillon's Crake, Brown Quail - Mt St Joseph pond, Altona, Vic

To: "Chris Tzaros" <>, <>, "Paul Dodd" <>
Subject: Baillon's Crake, Brown Quail - Mt St Joseph pond, Altona, Vic
From: "Peter Shute" <>
Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2008 22:23:43 +1100
I spent about 20 minutes at the pond about 6pm tonight.  The water level is 
still dropping and the Spotless Crakes were easily seen all around the edge - I 
counted 8.

I didn't see the rail, but had a long look at a Baillon's Crake feeding and 
bathing directly opposite the southern platform - the first I've seen since 
19/1/08 when the water level rose.

While sneaking across the noisy gravel on the approach to the northern platform 
I suddenly had fat little birds running around my feet and into the grass to my 
left.  I had an excellent view of a (male?) Brown Quail standing still about 5m 
from me - close enough to see fine white shafts and little black marks on the 
wing feathers and inverted scalloping on the breast.  This is the first time 
I've seen anything but a rear view as they fly away when flushed.  I could hear 
the others making contact calls from the bushes around me.

I turned my head for a second to look for others and he'd gone.  Can these 
birds tell when you're not looking?

Peter Shute

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