Sunday, 5 December 2021

Dark Secrets of the Water Rail
Water rail by Roy Cowley

Dark Secrets of the Water Rail

I heard the BBC Tweet of the Day about the Water Rail this morning. Chris Packham explained that when we hear the awful, blood-curdling, tortured piglet-like screams of the water rail it's called "sharming" and often occurs when 2 males have a "stand-off" in the reeds!

I also learned that whilst water rails usually use their long red bills to probe in soft mud for invertebrates wintry conditions can turn them into "bird murderers"! In icy conditions water rails can venture into gardens and "hunt" ground-feeding small birds, stabbing them with it's long spear of a bill! Who'd have guessed? Not me!
And as for water rails dreaming!...

Thanks to Chris Packham for these factual revelations and a huge thanks to the BBC for Tweets of the Day keeping us entertained and informed.

Click the link for Water Rail Tweet of the Day on Listen Again.