Vegetated fields at Long Valley, Hong Kong, provide a superb habitat for any rails or crakes on migration. Lately, while we’re scoping hopelessly for the Spoon-billed Sandpiper in Mai Po, a rare bird alert was sent out by an avid birder, Allen Chan. Apparently he found a White-browed Crake, a second record for Hong Kong! Quickly, we gave up our hunt for Spoonie and made our way to see the crake! Amazingly, it was still there-after an hour walk out of Mai Po and drive to Long Valley!!
I assumed the crake just arrived as it was busy feasting on frog spawn, small fish and aquatic plants in the muddy field and hardly took notice of us. I was glad we got to see it as it stayed very hidden the next day on.. I felt sorry for those who didn’t get to see it..
Apart from the White-browed crake, a Slaty-breasted Rail and Ruddy-breasted Crake were seen earlier this year. It was an accidental find for me as I walked aimlessly in Long Valley in early morning and saw them both foraged on molluscs in the same vegetation field.
A Baillon’s crake was seen in a shallow water pond and even a wild Japanese Quail can be found in Long Valley too! There are a variety of vegetated ponds at Long Valley- in short, there is no shortage of food or accommodation for rails and its extended family! I’m keeping my fingers crossed to see another rail/ crake come by! Truly, nothing beats the feeling of seeing a rail or crake come out from its hiding habitat…