Baillon’s Crake pair breeds at Akrotiri after 23 years

29 August 2018

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Throughout June and July local birder and member Tony Reeves visited the eastern edge of the Akrotiri Salt Lake where water coming from the Zakaki area made a small area there an oasis for water birds. At the end of May he had heard a noise that sounded as if it was a calling of a Baillon’s Crake and managed to make several sound recordings which eventually were identified as obviously being of that species. So it was clear that at least one was in the area during June and July, but he needed the visual evidence and hopefully proof that there was a pair present and maybe some young.

Finally he got what he was looking for: early on the morning of 31 July a pair and one juvenile emerged from reeds near to where he was watching and even allowed him to get a photograph as proof. A just reward for his patience.

Baillon’s Crake are a scarce passage migrant to Cyprus – although they do seem to be occurring more frequently in the last few years. They have bred here twice before in 1983 and 1985 at Akrotiri Marsh. 

One of the two adult Baillon's Crake at Akrotiri Salt Lake on 31 July © Tony Reeves


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