The most reliable place for us to observe White-browed Crakes is in Kununurra. Right in the centre of town Lily Creek Lagoon offers a huge variety of birds both on the water and also in the surrounding trees. It is a pleasant place to sit in the shade and picnic whilst taking in nature. White-browed Crakes do not stand out as easily as the Comb-crested Jacana and the numbers are not as big, but you should be able to observe them walking around on the lily-pads. Often they are very close to the reeds at the edge of the lagoon, so they can easily nip out of sight.

On our most recent visit to Kununurra last month we counted seven White-browed Crake, which is our highest number on any visit. I took the opportunity to take a few photos to share with you. On other occasions they have generally been much closer to the reeds and harder to photograph. They were mostly out in the open on the lily-pads and so I made the most of the situation! In the header photo the White-browed Crake may not be immediately obvious, but as soon as it turned its tail flicked up and it became more obvious.

White-browed Crake

The White-browed Crakes were feeding on the lily-pads and lifting them looking for food.

White-browed Crake feeding on the lily-pads

When the White-browed Crakes were among the dry vegetation they were not as obvious until they moved.

White-browed Crake in the dry vegetation

I took three photos in quick succession of a White-browed Crake nipping across the lily-pads and it hardly moved the lily-pads!

White-browed Crake

Kununurra offers a huge variety of birds year round and the White-browed Crake is one of many “target” species for birders. It does not need to be dull or at dusk or dawn to be observed, but you may need to be patient while you wait for its movement that will give it away. It is quite well camouflaged!

Written by Clare M
Clare and her husband, Grant, have lived permanently in Broome, Western Australia since 1999 after living in various outback locations around Western Australia and Darwin. She has lived in the Middle East and the United States and traveled extensively in Europe. She monitors Pied Oystercatchers breeding along a 23km stretch of Broome's coastline by bicycle and on foot. She chooses not to participate in social media, but rather wander off into the bush for peace and tranquility. Thankfully she can write posts in advance and get away from technology!