Corncrake Project


Corncrake. Brink of extinction. Dove-sized. Coots and moorhens. Hay meadows. Rural. Devastated. Insistent crek-crek. Scythes. Tractors. Scotland. Crofting. Rasping double call. Distinctive. Through the night. Hand-reared. Acclimatised in pens. Nene Washes. Floodplain meadows. Significant miracle. Corncrake project.

But this is a mere summary. Read all about it here.

7 thoughts on “Corncrake Project

  1. It is all very well to feel for the plight of these birds, but it has ever been true that such of their kind become extinct. Take, for example, the winged creature known only from the fossil-record, but which palaeontologists have dubbed the beefcrake in recognition of its coprolites, which are suggestive of its utter penchant for this meat. We are without it now and so can largely not imagine the splendid sight that it once made, winging its way through the skies with a hunk of topside ready for its breakfast…

    That juicy morsel apart, please spare a thought for the oatcrake, no less at risk of being expunged from history, but being of such an unassuming character that its name is a complete misnomer, since, much to the maltster’s annoyance, it survives entirely on grains of barley – a wise bird, to recognize (as those who lift a dram do) the life-giving qualities of that cereal!

  2. The least-frequently sighted, yet most-feared, member of the -crake family is the burrowing one, whose activities register from time to time on the Richter scale.

  3. Franz Kafka, I deem, had a thing or two to say about such matters (as well as the behaviour of all manner of other animals from mice to jackals, and from leopards to dogs)…

  4. Would that be the same Franz Kafka who was a keen oarsman and whose devotion to the dietary and masticatory tenets of Fletcherism made his table manners so revolting?

  5. No, in short. (Nor, for that matter, the Franz Kafka who claimed to be a denizen of – and even to have gaily haunted – the Czech city of Praha, but who never stepped beyond the bounds of his natal Liverpool.)

    This is a wholly other Franz Kafka, who fired from his bow with abandon, frolicked in the forests of Lincolnshire, and came no closer to being an adherent of that alleged movement of Fletcherism (in truth, little more than a ragged band of individuals fluttering along in the tremendous wake of Fletcher’s most gifted pupil, Hündersøn) than I do to being learned in the lore of the Spoonbill.

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