Water Rails has long legs and feet, short upright tail and pot-bellied appearance identify this bird as a rail and its long, pointed, usually red bill tells you immediately which species it is. You may see just the flicking off-white undertail feathers as it scoots back into the reeds but a better view will reveal rich brown and black upper-parts, heavily barred flanks and immaculate Dunnock-grey under-parts. If flushed they struggle low over the reeds with long legs trailing behind.

During the course of its migratory flights the water rail seems prone to collisions with overhead wires and North Sea rig platforms suggesting that even though its rapidly beating wings can carry it for long distances it is not really suited to high flight. Yet ringing recoveries confirm many water rails move into this country for the winter from the Netherlands, Belgium, southern Scandinavia and Turkey. Others summer in northern and central Europe even cross such mountain systems as the Alps.

Old-time collectors/naturalists described water rails as often abundant in autumn in the Yare Valley especially in the vicinity of Rockland Broad. Here the unfortunate birds ‘afforded ample sport’ with as many as 22 being obtained by a single gunner within a few hours. Today, this area of Broadland still attracts these shy birds.

We Recommend  : Kairos Travel  |  Unlu Hotel | Captivating Cappadocia
Did you like this? Share it: