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Baillon`s Crake, Malta by Marcus Camilleri

A very rare visitor to the Maltese Islands. We encountered this tiny migrating bird in a small fresh water pond on the island of Gozo whilst looking out for any little bitterns which might have arrived overnight. Together with a good friend we set up a blind and dug deep in the mud. The bird clearly loved the live meal worms, yet was hesitant to swim out of the reeds. On the second day we laid some bamboo to entice the bird to walk out of its comfort zone and placed the worms closer to our blind.. It worked.

Over the next 2 days the bird grew more confident. On the 3rd day I noticed a marked increase at the time spent preening and stretching and on the 4th day vigorous wing flapping, all tell tale signs that the bird was ready to continue its journey. On the 4th day, just as I did every evening I left a handful of meal worms. The bird came out to feed. That night was a full moon and in the early morning of the 5th day on returning to the blind the bird was gone leaving us with fond memories and feeling so lucky to have had the opportunity to observe such a gorgeous bird so close.

Camera Nikon D500
Lens Nikon 80-400 mm f5.6
Aperture f5 @140mm
S/S 800
ISO 640
Additional Notes hand held, no tripod used
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