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Rail, African

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Sat Feb 10, 2007 2:36 pm Unread post
African Rail, Rallus caerulescens

Physical characteristics:
The African Rail is a distinctive bird with a long, slightly decurved bill, legs and feet dull-red, blood-red eyes, a white chin, blue-grey foreneck and breast, black-and-white barred flanks and undertail and dark chestnut upper parts.

Image

Distribution and habitat:
Wide-spread in the “wetter” parts of Africa, so too in Southern Africa. The AR is a resident bird with movement in response to environmental conditions. It keeps to reed beds and dense growth in perennial swamps and marshes.

Behaviour:
Usually found in pairs, sometimes alone. It is active throughout the day, occasionally calls after dark. Bold when in dense vegetation, allowing observers a close approach. Stands upright when alarmed, freezes. AR can swim well. Flies low with dangling legs.

Territorial disputes are regularly seen when two birds face each other in an upright stance and attack by jumping and pecking at each other. Normally the African Rail does not defend territory against other breeding bird species.

Diet:
AR forages in shallow water at the edges of reed beds for earthworms, spiders, insects, crabs, small frogs and fish. Also eats plant matter, including seeds. Sometimes scavenges.
Hunting technique:
Probes deeply into mud and grass tufts, immersing head and neck to catch prey.

Breeding and nesting:
Monogamous, territorial and solitary nester. The nest consists of a shallow saucer constructed with available leaves and stems, well-hidden inside sedge tufts. Seems to nest throughout the year. Lays 2 – 6 eggs at daily intervals. Both parents share incubation duties that lasts 20 days. Sometimes relays after failure.
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Mon Feb 12, 2007 9:03 am Unread post
Great to see a photo of this one. The one and only sighting I had of this bird was from the Geelbek hide in West Coast National Park in 2005. It cam running out of the reeds, spent less than a minute at the water's edge and was gone again. Only enough time for me to realise what it was and to inform the other birder in the hide with me where the bird was.



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Mon Feb 12, 2007 9:08 am Unread post
Saw one in Kruger (In Stevenson Hamilton memorial area) in January 2006.



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Mon Feb 12, 2007 2:10 pm Unread post
Eish , saw 1 at marievale the other day , did not know its rare or I would have tried getting more than just 1 photo :wall: .

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Re: Rail, African

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Wed May 20, 2009 11:40 pm Unread post
Seen on the Ndebele mining road/ Vlaklaagte . Unfortunately not a great photo :?

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Re: Rail, African

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Sun May 24, 2009 6:25 pm Unread post
saw mine at Marieville


Re: Rail, African

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Thu Jun 04, 2009 3:22 pm Unread post
I wish i could get to see one


Re: Rail, African

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Thu Jun 04, 2009 4:03 pm Unread post
Imax, quoting the words of a friend: " hey be patient, I 've waited years to see my first one..." 8)

No seriously, it's a great bird to see, but I struggled a lot, and spent hours waiting for it! It was so worth it though!
Good luck!


Re: Rail, African

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Thu Jun 04, 2009 4:12 pm Unread post
It just feels like everyone has seen one exept for me! one of my big bogeys


Re: Rail, African

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Wed Jun 10, 2009 9:56 pm Unread post
With a quick hour and a half "pop - in" at OPM Prozesky today, in icy cold wind at spitting rain, I saw, amongst quite a few other species, :dance: 4 African Rails. They every now and again showed themselfves.

Got these pics, despite the weather. Unfortunately, the photos with 2 of the 4 together, the always present reed got in the way and spoilt the photo's :evil:

Image

Image

Image

Image

{ enjoy them Imax.... :tongue: }


Re: Rail, African

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Thu Jun 11, 2009 3:04 pm Unread post
Yolandé Oelsen wrote
{ enjoy them Imax.... }


:twisted: :lol: :lol:

Very nice Yolande, I think im going to go sulk with Imax for a bit!!!


Re: Rail, African

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Thu Jun 11, 2009 3:32 pm Unread post
Wow guys! These are all lovely pictures - amazing as they are quite secretive birds! :thumbs_up:
I have had good luck seeing them on quite a few occassions at Abrahmskraal in the WCNP as well at the Geelbek hide. Someone said they had seen 8 at the hide on 1 occassion.
Also seen on the Limpopo River, west of Mapungubwe.
8)


Re: Rail, African

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Thu Jun 11, 2009 3:58 pm Unread post
O-DOG :evil:


Re: Rail, African

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Sat Jun 13, 2009 5:55 pm Unread post
Another lucky shot! This time at Abe Bailey NR. There are SO MANY rails there, I didn't know where to look or take photo's. Yesterday ended with no photo's but managed this glimpse photo today. There is a wetland on both sides of the road. Yesterday, saw 3 on the one side and 4 on the other. Yet another few were calling deeper in. So today I walked right up to the deeper part of the wetland, and sat between the reeds for an hour or so. Again saw 4, of which this photo was of one of them, before they took off.
Unfortunately though, they kept calling but didn't show again. ( had a 6 year old with me, who couldn't decide how to sit, and everytime she lifted her bino's to her eyes, made a noice with the reeds) :?

Image


Re: Rail, African

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Location: Sunninghill(JHB), Vaalwater & Beauty(Waterberg), Grahamstown(E.C)
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Sun Jun 14, 2009 3:53 pm Unread post
AGAIN!!! :roll: :naughty:
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