African Rail

Rallus caerulescens

This notorious skulker is a small wetland bird that is part of the rail family.

I am a lover of all things “rallids”; the name given to one of my favourite bird families including rails and crakes. Hence, I am always trying to photograph them in creative ways or demonstrating interesting behaviour. My best experience took place at Marievale Bird Sanctuary during the winter of 2019. Having scoped out the conditions at Marievale the weekend before, I knew that the road to the old bus stop hide held great potential and went back to try my luck. I soon found a Rail foraging along the edges of the road, stopped my car, put down my blanket and assumed the lie and wait position. What I didn’t expect is the Rail to excitedly throw a crab shell into the road in front of me and start feeding on it. When this happened I knew I was in for a special morning! I have seen Moorhens and Crakes feed on crab shells before, and if there is one thing that stands out it is that they love them and constantly return for more. Jackpot! Mr Rail also loves himself a crab shell, and returned to feed on it at least 6 times, making for some crazy photographic opportunities (which I haven’t seen documented before).


African Rail / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, Nigel, South Africa / April 2019 African Rail / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, Nigel, South Africa / April 2019 African Rail / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, Nigel, South Africa / April 2019 African Rail / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, Nigel, South Africa / April 2019 African Rail / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, Nigel, South Africa / April 2019 African Rail / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, Nigel, South Africa / April 2019 African Rail / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, Nigel, South Africa / April 2019 African Rail / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, Nigel, South Africa / April 2019 African Rail / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, Nigel, South Africa / April 2019 African Rail / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, Nigel, South Africa / April 2019 African Rail / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, Nigel, South Africa / April 2019 African Rail / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, Nigel, South Africa / April 2019 African Rail / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, Nigel, South Africa / April 2019 African Rail / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, Nigel, South Africa / April 2019 African Rail / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, Nigel. South Africa / 11 July 2017 African Rail / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, Nigel, South Africa / April 2019 African Rail / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, Nigel, South Africa / April 2019 African Rail / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, Nigel, Gauteng, South Africa / May 2018 African Rail / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, Nigel, South Africa / February 2018 African Rail / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, Nigel, Gauteng, South Africa / May 2018 African Rail / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, Nigel, Gauteng, South Africa / May 2018 African Rail / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, Nigel. South Africa / 11 July 2017 African Rail / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, Nigel, South Africa / February 2018 African Rail / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, Nigel, Gauteng, South Africa / May 2018 African Rail / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, Nigel, Gauteng, South Africa / May 2018 African Rail / Marievale Bird Sancturay, Nigel, South Africa / 09 August 2014 African Rail / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, Nigel. South Africa / 11 July 2017 African Rail / Marievale Bird Sancturay, Nigel, South Africa / 09 August 2014 African Rail / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, Nigel, Gauteng, South Africa / May 2018 African Rail / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, Nigel. South Africa / 11 July 2017 African Rail / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, Nigel, South Africa / February 2018 African Rail / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, Nigel, Gauteng, South Africa / May 2018 African Rail / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, Nigel. South Africa / 11 July 2017 African Rail / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, South Africa African Rail / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, Nigel, Gauteng, South Africa / May 2018 African Rail / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, South Africa African Rail / Marievale Bird Sancturay, Nigel, South Africa / 09 August 2014 African Rail / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, Nigel, South Africa / February 2018 African Rail / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, Nigel. South Africa / 11 July 2017 African Rail / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, South Africa
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