Tiree: Where The Corncrake Cries

Today the Isle of Tiree made the national news headlines with the RSPB report that “one of Scotland’s rarest breeding birds has had its most successful season in at least 45 years. The reference was to the elusive ‘Corncrake” which are related to moorhens, coots and rails but differ from most members of the family in that they live on dry land.

Earlier on in the year whether at home, in the garden or out walking we could hear the distinctive cry of the male bird – a rasping ‘crex-crex’. Sadly we never caught sight of these pigeon-sized birds which have now made their annual migration to Africa. Being shy the corncrake mainly stays hidden among tall vegetation where they can safely raise a family.

At one time the corncrake was found across Scotland but the highest numbers recorded are now found on Orkney and the Hebrides. The report stated, ‘The biggest single island population is on Tiree, an island that had 396 calling males this year.’

Being camera shy, lifeontiree has not as yet been able to obtain a photograph. Instead, here are sunsets captured this evening from our garden.