BUFF-BANDED RAIL (Gallirallus philippensis)

I’ve never seen a Buff-banded Rail, (or any other Rail for that matter), in the wild, but viewing it in The Great Aviary at Melbourne Zoo reveals it might be hard to see in long grass anyway.

It looks similar (to me) to the Lewin’s Rail (Rallus pectorals) in my Photographic Field Guide Birds in Australia (by Jim Flegg), but the Lewin’s Rail seems to have a longer beak.  I do so hope I’ve got the identification of the bird in this post, correct.

This bird is found locally in Newells Paddock Nature Reserve, only a bus/walk away from my home, so hopefully, when I get back to nature walks, I’ll have an opportunity to search for it.

In the meantime, here’s a few old images from the zoo made 4-5 years ago.

Buff-Banded Rail (Gallirallus philippensis)

It’s a medium-large Rail with a distinctive white head (ehrrrrr…..in most of my shots it looks brown 🙂 ), stout sharp brownish beak, dark crowns, prominent white supercilious over chestnut cheeks, and grey throat.

It rarely flies and has long grey legs.  These images were made from an overhead boardwalk in the Aviary which is about 15 feet above the ground, so most images were made from that angle/height.

This bird is mostly active at dusk and I’ve seen it only rarely on my many zoo visits in the past.  I suspect this is partly due to its excellent camouflage (as much as my zoo visits were during early afternoon).

Found in many of the coastal areas of Australia, apparently it squeaks, clicks, croaks and has a raucous bray – not like my usual local bird life who bring sweet music to my ears regularly each day now, with the Superb Fairy-wren having the cutest song in the cooler mornings.

Of course we’re in to Summer in the Southern Hemisphere.

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My days seem so busy with health matters in recent months, I haven’t had much time to devote to my blog(s) and Photography, but then I was trying to reduce my computer time anyway.

I’ve downsized my balcony garden (and not replaced my much-used herbs and other green veggies in anticipation of surgery and not being able to water the garden) – the garden was getting too big anyway.  I’ll replant and redesign next Spring. I had to re-arrange several pieces of furniture in my tiny studio-style apartment yesterday and today, (to allow a tradesman with a ladder to measure & quote for window UV film next week), and a host of Spring cleaning tasks I don’t normally do.

I did a massive cleanup of the bird poop on my balcony which I had neglected.  Had to rearrange some kitchen cupboard contents as it’s too painful to twist at the moment.  We had a dust storm in Melbourne  last week, and dust has got into the most surprising of places indoors, necessitating extra housework too.

Melbourne’s weather is predictably UN-predictable and who knows whether it will be hot or cold for Christmas/New Year.

Gosh, it might even snow as it did in August 1849, July 1882 and 1951, OR a tornado (like February 1918) or other freaks storms as in February 2005.  I think the whole world’s weather patterns have been extreme to say the least. 

In the meantime, it’s still mainly images from my archives that you’ll see on my nature blog.

Bird images are the easiest as they are well filed in my old iPhoto library.  Flowers a little less so.  But each time I view the old photo folders I do a tiny bit of culling, re-editing and re-filing, so it has been a useful exercise.

13 thoughts on “BUFF-BANDED RAIL (Gallirallus philippensis)

    1. Thanks Otto.
      I see an orthopaedic surgeon this morning – its been a long 8-9 months being about 95% housebound, so I hope he’s got a definitive diagnosis (since I’ve already seen the MRI results and my GP says almost certainly a hip replacement) and prognosis.

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    1. Thanks Tanja. Hope you have an enjoyable weekend also.
      Heatwave yesterday and today.
      (Heavy rain before that, but that also makes the grass grow higher which exacerbates the potential for grass fires).

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    2. The scenes of the Californian bushfires I saw on our International news were horrific, Tanja. I did so feel for those who lost their homes. We had the driest September on record, so I think we’re in for a scorching fire season here.

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  1. I so enjoy seeing parent birds with their babes, and these are wonderful shots. When I read about our rails, a common thread seemed to be their secretive behavior — that accords with what you say here. They surely are beautiful.

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    1. I’ll see if I can find some more avian ‘babes’, but for this week, its probably time to give the Garden lovers a few flower images from the archives.

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    1. It’s mainly archival images, David, and to be honest, even that will slow down (or stop) for a while due to surgery in a couple of months and many weeks on crutches. I’ve discovered my worn-out hip now hurts even to swivel around in my desk chair to get up from my desk. Maybe the twisting and turning has contributed to the problem as I have strong bones and there’s nothing wrong with the other hip. I’ve been catching taxis 97% of the time when going out for about 7-8 months now.

      Next year will be a very quiet online time for me (incl following other blogs).

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