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.
The 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?