On the rails

We don’t often see buff-banded rails (Gallirallus philippensis) close up – maybe a fleeting glance as they run across the road or back into the grasses on the edge. They are quite common but tend to hide away from human eyes.

But today we saw two just outside the studio! They were comfortably pecking the ground for seeds and insects about 6:30 a.m.

The photo does not do justice to the handsome plumage as it was taken from inside the building, and the bird was moving. But it’s enough to give a definite ID.

Buff-banded rail; photo by Andrew Roberts

It looks a bit like a painting, but it’s verite, au naturel – or in the buff.