Posted on the 23rd March 2012

(Probably the biggest news to have hit South African birding this year - or decade for that matter - is the discovery of a LITTLE CRAKE at the Clovelly wetlands.  It is the first time that this bird has been seen in southern Africa, so you want to go and get it.  Below Trevor Hardaker's reports over the last 18 hours.  Enjoy. - Ed).

I can now post a positive confirmed report...

Peter Ryan, John Graham and I are currently watching a female LITTLE CRAKE at the Clovelly wetlands!! My phone's battery is not going to last too much longer, so I will post further details when I get home later tonight. The bird is at the second little gabion pond along the Silvermine River and is a cracking adult female bird! A new bird for Southern Africa!!

More details later!

Yours extremely happily,


Ok, so now that the excitement has died down just a little, I can provide more details...

Gillian Barnes found a small crake at the Clovelly wetlands late yesterday and, then went back there this morning with her father, Eric Barnes, to have another look for it. Fortunately, Gillian managed to get some photos of it this morning because they were still unsure of the identity thinking that it was possibly a young Baillon’s Crake or perhaps even a Spotted Crake.

Fortunately, this afternoon, the photos somehow made it into my inbox from Gillian where she requested assistance on the ID of the bird. As soon as I opened the photos, my interest was immediately aroused by what I saw. The photos was not 100% clear, but I was already suspicious, so I quickly forwarded them to my expert team of friends who I often call on in these situations, John Graham, Peter Ryan, Phil Hockey and Cliff Dorse. It didn’t take long for them to come back with the same suspicions...

However, there was no way to be 100% sure from the photos, so we all quickly dropped everything and raced over to Clovelly where we found ourselves face to face with a cracking LITTLE CRAKE, a new bird for Southern Africa and, quite possibly, the first record south of the equator on the continent.

The rest as they say is history... Fortunately, close to 50 people still managed to make it through there this afternoon to connect with the bird!

Using Google Earth, the co-ordinates for the site seem to be 34 deg 07’ 45,13” S and 18 deg 25’ 58,81”E

Directions to the site – travelling from Kalk Bay, follow Main Road until you reach the intersection with Clovelly Road. Turn right into Clovelly Road and then follow this for a little way until you reach the first left turn into Montrose Avenue. Continue along Montrose Ave and take the second left into Bethel Road and then the first left again into Winkle Way and then the first left again into Hilton Road. Follow Hilton Road for a few hundred metres until you reach the obvious pond on your right hand side and that is where the bird is.


The bird is showing well this morning at the same spot as described in the update last night, so good luck to all those long distance twitchers!

There are close to 50 twitchers here this morning already(6:45am) and the stream of people arriving is constantly growing! Lovely stuff...:)

Kind regards,


KUBESH MOODLEY (posted: 2012-03-26)
I feel honoured to be the first indian to have seen this truly amazing lttle bird. Unforgettable experience watching her walk across the water.