Tuesday, 9 July 2013

78. Corncrake (Crex crex)

The Corncrake is related to the other rails and crakes but doesn't share their preference for waterside habitats, instead liking damp meadows and hay fields. It is a migratory species, visiting the UK to breed and wintering in southeast Africa, but is now very rare and highly localised here due to habitat loss. However throughout much of central Europe and Asia it is much more widespread. It is known for its distinctive, monotonous display call, which gives it its binomial name - Crex crex - as that is what the call sounds like! Again, it's another tricky one to see and the best times are at dusk and dawn when the courting male may stick his head up out of the vegetation as in the photo below.

Corncrake, ©, via Flickr Creative Commons.

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