Distinct call of the corncrake detected at Ballinlea

Robert Brown standing in the barley field where he was a mere 20 yards from a Corncrake. Mr. Brown is pictured holding his mobile telephone which he used to record the bird singing.INBM28-12 291JC
Robert Brown standing in the barley field where he was a mere 20 yards from a Corncrake. Mr. Brown is pictured holding his mobile telephone which he used to record the bird singing.INBM28-12 291JC

Dear Sir - It was only by a chance encounter that I detected the distinct call of the corncrake. Immediately, I realised this was an exceptional case to hear a bird that, largely, was extinct in the countryside.

People in the area have confirmed that it is in the region of 50 years that they remember, with nostalgia, the piercing call of this bird.

For over a week now it has been heard clearly as it calls consistently between 1am and 2:30am in the Maghernahare area of Ballinea.

On a perfectly calm night its sound radiates over a quarter of a mile area.

Personally, I have come within the proximity of approximately 20-25 yards of its nesting place and have made a loud and clear recording of its call.

Some have asked since they heard the recording - could it be that the corncrake will make a comeback?

Certainly one would like to answer in the positive but with all the information I have received from the R.S.P.B. and with what I’ve read on the internet, we tend to conclude that the chances are remote.

Possibly, down to changes in farming techniques and other environmental challenges it would have to contend with, the corncrake’s survival rate would be limited.

That being the case, one feels keenly, this is a passing opportunity to hear the call of the corncrake.

Considering the time span since last heard and in light of the fact of its near extinction, one would judge that for some of us, we quote... it may be the last time we ever hear the call!

Yours,

Robert Brown.