by NEWSROOM on SUNDAY, APRIL 20, 2014, AT 9:00AM
RSPB Scotland are asking the Orkney public to contact them if they hear the elusive bird’s call.
RSPB say that there has been a surprisingly early start to the corncrake season in Orkney this year and the charity are encouraging people to send them further records.
The first reported calling male was heard on April 8 in the East Mainland. Corncrakes spend the winter in Africa and are in Orkney for just a few months when they return to breed in the spring.
However corncrakes have suffered serious declines throughout the UK and much of Europe. In Orkney there were only 14 males last year. RSPB Scotland is asking for help to monitor the movements of these endangered birds so that their habitat can be protected in the future.
Corncrakes are elusive birds which tend to hide in tall vegetation and are rarely seen. They have a distinctive “crex crex” call, which is the sound of the males trying to attract a female.
To report a corncrake call, contact Inga Seator of RSPB Scotland by calling 01856 852029, emailing inga.seator@RSPB.org.uk or posting on the RSPB Orkney Facebook page.