Two rare and elusive birds, Ruddy-breasted Crake and Baillon’s Crake, were spotted at Kannankurichi Lake by bird watchers, here on Thursday.
The programme was organised by Tamil Birds Group as part of the first Pongal Bird Count 2015 across the State.
Bird watchers S.V. Ganeshwar and photographer J. Arun Prakash, spotted the two species of rare birds belonging to Rallidae family in the lake.
They told The Hindu that this is the first time that both the birds were spotted at Salem.
Ruddy-breasted Crake is dark olive brown in colour, has white barring on rear flanks and under tail-coverts and is a resident bird of the State. Baillon’s Crake breeds abundantly in Kashmir and is a widespread winter visitor to the subcontinent.
It has brown upperparts, extensively marked with white and the bill is all green.
Both the birds are chiefly crepuscular and nocturnal in their habits.
Crakes walk over floating vegetation in search of food or swim across narrow channels, twitching up the tail from time to time like a Moorhen.
With the slightest disturbance, they immediately dart into the nearby vegetation.
Some of the Crakes look quite similar and bird watchers are careful with the identification.
Due to their habits, photographing them was a difficult challenge, they added.