It has been rumoured for some time that a pair of the shy and retiring Lewin’s Rails lives not far from Abel’s Cabin, and today I proved the rumour to be correct.
Since I got word about the pair some months back, when I have driven past the spot, I check out all the gulls, oyster catchers, plovers etc in the hope of spying a rail.
My patience paid off today when up against a reed bank I glimpsed a wee bird I had never before clapped eyes on. And what a sight!
I think what I saw was a pair of immature rails because they had very little of the characteristic chestnut colouring and no red bills and their bodies seemed way to small for their feet, which may well be how they are as they spend their lives padding about on the edges of swamps.
These two were right beside a very busy road and were out in the open about 3pm, which is apparently very unusual as they are rarely seen because of their flighty nature and when they are it’s very early morning or dusk. But today, it was very overcast and drizzly.
Anyway, here is one. They are not rare or endangered, just rarely seen. There is a Tasmanian subspecies, one of seven found throughout Australia.