I had the good fortune to be staying at Kingfisher Park in Julatten for 3 days. The weather was unusually cold and the birds had stopped calling which made finding them more difficult. I had searched in vain for the red-necked crake in 2009 and it looked like I would sadly dip again.
On the evening of my last night I went down to the orchard for a last look and in the orchard was a Bassian Thrush which ignored me and allowed a close approach and flash photos.
I thought I would go over to the crake pool for one last look and in the dim light I could make out a shape slowly walking away from me. Was it an Orange-footed Scrubfowl? NO! It seemed to have a red neck and head! I crept a little closer and took a photo. The bird turned to the left and I took another long distance photo. The bird stopped and then flew off into the forest. I looked at my photos and I had two blurry pictures but definitely a red-necked crake!!
As I was standing there by the pool I caught a movement and as I looked I could make out the crake circling around and coming back to my end of the pool. I stood very still and the crake came down to the pool 2 metres away from me. My auto focus would not focus it was too dark!!! so I switched to manual focus and took a picture with flash.
I expected the bird to fly off again but it ignored me and walked around the pool towards me. I enjoyed magnificent views of it drinking and bathing for some 10 minutes taking numerous photos.
Eventually, while it was behind a rock, I quietly walked away leaving the bird to finish what it was doing. Magic!!