26 thoughts on “Baillon’s Crake

  1. Bloody BRILLIANT, Andrew! I had no idea of your being such an informed twitcher – heaven only knows what you’d be called in Honkers … Not only do I LOVE the photos, but the text …! How in the name of all the gods did you embed that marvellous font?? Oh, never mind; but I do congratulate you for doing it. And for this post. I’m gobsmacked …

    • M.R., the design is not mine. That trophy goes to Eb Bowles. He procured the font, which I also love. It is an enjoyable and fruitful partnership. I do the photos and the core of the text. Eb turns it into a professional product, researches the sidebars and captions and generally ensures that I don’t look a complete fool πŸ™‚ I am very happy you liked it.

    • M.R. I like that font, too. It was selected specifically for Andrew’s work. It is known by the name Caslon Antique FS and is classified by web typographers as “historical.” The font was crafted by FontSite Inc. and delivered to CornDancer for a small fee from Font Spring. To me it evokes display type common in mid- to late-19th century newspaper journalism in US and UK.

      It’s embedded through a combination of Cascading Style Sheet coding, html5 markup, and font files that live on the web server. What’s so nice is that the font is inline, doesn’t require graphics files, and works on almost every browser platform. –Ebenezer

      • I’m SO impressed, Eb! It’s as scarce as hen’s teeth to find a couple of blokes putting so much care into something online when they aren’t expecting to earn from it.
        You both rock!

  2. The bird photographs are excellent, as always, Andrew. And the information is very interesting and helpful, but the Birdlands in the City is astounding. Really amazing.

    • Thanks Marylin. The birds really do turn up in odd places. We have a rare warbler in another park recently. A Blyth’s Reed Warbler spent a long time in Shatin Park. Unbelievable and even more so that somebody found it. Its always worth looking, wherever you go.

  3. Yes, indeedy, Andrew, your bird posts on Eb’s site just keep getting more interesting. But then perhaps I am partial. Anything about birds suits me to a tee and the crake is one amusing bird. It certainly gets around town and the world.

    As far as I can determine the nearest thing to a crake in North America is the Sora (8 & 1/2 inches from stem to stern and the Yellow Rail at 7 & 1/4 inches from tip of beak to the last tail feather.

    And I’ll add my 2 cents worth about the font and the general layout of the Corn Dancer. It is a unique site and as someone mentioned it present as a book.

    Eb is very generous to offer his expertise regarding Internet and publishing. And, I offer my thanks to you, Andrew for giving your readers, followers and, lurkers a chance to better know nature, through your fine photography and unique writing style.


    • Hi Yvonne…. That’s not two cents worth but a million bucks worth! CornDancer is very much about imagining the Internet as a place to build community, respect one another, and share our ruling passions and interests in thoughtful and original ways.

      Some time ago, to make ends meet, I toiled as a ghost writer. The books were OK, serving a purpose for their authors, but open-access webs provide a much more satisfying avenue to book making.

      Y., I swear I saw something about a birder in the Midwest of the USA claiming to have observed a Baillon’s Crake. But it was in one of those snippet views on Google so I can’t be sure.


      • Eb, thanks so much for the reply. I find it so interesting that you wrote as a ghost writer. I had wondered about your background and what had been the motivating force to create the CornDancer. The site that you have created is impressive. I like the smoothness and readability.

        I’ll have to see what I can find out about Baillon’s Crake being sighted in the Midwest. If so, that little fellow has quite a traveling agenda. I’ve never been one to pursue a rare bird since I’m not fanatical about birding but I enjoy reading about these fascinating creatures and observing then locally and in my yard.


    • Your comments are always appreciated Yvonne but especially for the CornDancer project. Eb puts a lot of work in and I just enjoy seeing my words and photos morph into the finished product that Eb magics up. Thank you.

  4. Crakey, this is such a fine effort you have shared with us, Andrew. I am sure Eb did an excellent editing job but it would come as a shock of seismic proportion were you to look even the partial fool.
    I’ll be getting my Corndancer act together soon, Eb.

    • Steve, I am really looking forward to your next CornDancer act. And crakey, you made me groan. I could never create a finished product like this and it makes such a difference. Its like the blog on steroids.

  5. I’ve been scrolling up and down the link in another tab, Andrew, Full screen to get the overall effect and was blown away,.. as everyone says the font is stupendous, makes reading so easy, you’re absorbing the info before you know it, and whether this crane be dwarf, little or just plain tiny, (never plain) it’s a pleasure to see, also the Hong Kong Park Photo’s are amazing, Birdland in the City, totally changed my thoughts on how Hong Kong looked. (also liked the poetry, for some reason πŸ™‚ ) A smorgasbord of treats.. xPenx

  6. Great story with the poignant line ‘the female is much like the male but less colourful’ not giving great comfort to those males that hang onto their $5.- jeans. I knew I wasn’t colourful and the articles seems to point out how the male species of homos erectus has slipped down the evolutionary ladder compared with the world of birds or animals generally.
    Just look how males used to look around the time of Louis the 16th and now. They wore lovely crocheted doilies around their heads with legs adorned with puffed up pantaloons, nice slippers and lovely hairdos with powdered wigs. That’s all gone now.

  7. What a superb collaboration! A crake was completely unknown to me. Now that you are in absentia from Bird Photography, I look forward to your bird images in CornDancer and your blog.

    • Thanks Caroline. Bird Photography was taking up far too much time and either I carried on and didn’t do things like the blog and CornDancer or it had to go. There are plenty of people who can step in as moderators, probably better than me too. I was also frustrated with the instability of G+. Sometimes I could only see posts 3 days old. I just needed to move on.

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