7 SEPTEMBER 1934, Page 20


[To the Editor of THE SPECTATOR.] SIR,—Can you help me to identify a bird that is visiting our garden at the end of August ? It resembles nothing so much as the water crake, which Bewick describes as "very scarce in Great Britain and from its extreme vigilance rarely to be seen." We have two very small ornamental ponds, but plenty of cover on the lawns, and in the neighbourhood are large estates with plenty of water where waterfowl abound. Our visitor conforms to the description of the water crake in appearance, the white bars on the wings being conspicuous. It does not pay much attention to the water, runs and hides a good deal and squats clumsily on a thicket of overgrown polygonum. It is very shy and eats a great deal of soaked bread and corn, accompanied by much drinking.

Can it be a water crake ?—I am, Sir, &c.,