Baillon’s Crake.

John Holmes and I went out today to Long Valley to photograph Baillon’s Crake. John has also blogged about the BC. 

Now Baillon’s Crake is named after Louis Antoine François Baillon, (1778-1855). M. Baillon ‘developed an interest in capturing and keeping live birds and also amassed a considerable collection of bird skins……. Baillon sent a number of specimens to Louis Vieillot, including in 1819, a small crake, which Vieillot named Rallus Bailloni.’ [Source: Biographies for Birdwatchers. Barbara and Richard Mearns, Academic Press 1988]. Baillon was not however the original describer of the bird, that having been Peter Simon Pallas. Today the scientific name is Porzana pusilla.

It is a tiny bird, only 8″ from tip to tail. It certainly looked small in the viewfinder. It also looked very dark. We had a very dreary day weather-wise, heavy cloud cover. And the little tinker of a bird kept itself tight to the arrowhead plants, Sagittaria sagittifolia. However over the course of the morning we did manage some reasonable images and here are mine. This was a photographic ‘tick’ for me – a species previously seen but not photographed and much pleasure it brought me.

Baillon's Crake 2 Baillon's Crake Baillon's Crake Baillon's Crake4 Baillon's Crake5 Baillons Crake6 BC with NRThe morning was rounded off with cups of coffee and John indulged in a bowl of noodles. Very civilised. If the weather improves and the light looks good I’ll give it another go but until Friday the weather forecast is officially yuk according to the HK Observatory. Never mind. It may hang around a while yet. Fingers crossed.

Incidentally the spellchecker insists on trying to rename this as Baillon’s Cake. Well I suppose you can’t have your crake and eat it, can you?

21 thoughts on “Baillon’s Crake.

  1. I would like to use your third image for my articles and my future editions of Cambodia Coins & Currency. The reason is that it has the upright tail with the dark spots on it. You can see the catalog cover at my seller; and type DANIEL in their search. Your image will be credited to you and I will put you in the List of Contributors. If you email me, I can send an image of the old Cambodian coin with a crake on it. They are common coins and the last minted by the Cambodia before they started using modern European designs and equipment.

  2. All the pictures are stunning, so visually close and clear, but my favorites are the first and last pictures. They’re almost “bookends”–showing a total adventure. Well done.

    • Thank you Marylin. The last shot was almost discarded as I shot it at a high ISO and it needed some noise reduction applied. I usually like to keep my images noise free out of the camera but this one came up reasonably well. Bookends 🙂

  3. Nunber 3 because it is the best pose of the bird.The crake in no. 3 shows it looking very intersested in finding or stalking its prey. Neck is out stretched to show good field ID. Number 5 has a beautiful reflection in the water and this one gets bonus points because of the circles in the water. I look for at least 2 outstanding features in a photo and 3 and 5 meet my criteria for I what I find most appealing about this set. These are all quite good. I would call your field adventures highly successful for that day.

  4. Crikey! It’s a crake.

    All fine images, but number five is my favorite. I know elsewhere I mentioned the circles within circles but in number five they are emanating from the bill and concentric which I always enjoy.

  5. What a great sighting and images. I’m also with Steve, 5/7 is wonderful. But I always like context and so 4/7 appeals to me too – even though it may not be the best of some very good shots from a technical perspective – I can feel the location and sense the bird’s activity in that one. I liked your rail against the cake.

  6. Believe it or not, I’ve seen a Baillon’s Crake, here in the UK. If I recall it was wandering about near a rainwater outflow at the edge of a pond in the North East industrial heartland. It was one of my few ‘twitches’. Before my photography obsession so I’ve no pictures of the little squirt – but these are great.

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