Q.

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Saturday, 11 June 2011 14:24

I've just seen my first EVER Quail!!! It was quite a surprise too. I was about half way through a farm survey and I didn't really expect to see Quail at this site. I thought I heard one about an hour earlier but it only sang once and then stopped, I waited but after a while I assumed I was hearing things. Then when walking along a field of spring barley I suddenly heard one very close and another bird sang not too far away too. Within three minutes I saw one fly perhaps 20 m and managed to focus my bins on it. Not all that different in size to a Corn Bunting but what struck me was how pale it was and of very unusual proportions. I later decided to use the Canon to take a short video. You can't see anything but you can hear in this video: two Quail, at least two Corn Buntings, numerous Skylarks and a nice surprise at about 1.30 is a Grey Partridge. There was a Whitethroat too but I don't think you can hear it. A farmland Birds of Conservation Concern choir!

However, the real surprise for me was hearing the Quail's strange 'prefix' song. You can just about hear it on the recording at about 1.05 (but I mean just). It sounds like 'mau-wau, mau-wau' and is one of the strangest sounds I have heard a bird make. I have been rather a little excited since finally nailing the Quail and it was great to write it on the survey maps. I also had another just off the farm and a possible third on the farm. The list of birds I have picked up so far has been quite surprising.

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