After birdng for 12 years this is my first time I got to shoot my elusive Watercock. Many of my fellow birders have got it but not me ...really paiseh. Many times we spooked the bird and it just flew off into the padi field or undergrowth nearest to it.
The best way to shoot this rail is from your vehicle. With my newly acquired Nikon P1000 with its 3000mm range I manage to shoot it in half frame crop as shown from a distance of 60-70m away opposite a padi field. Thought the details are soft it is good enough for me.
The female Watercock is more frequently seen than the beautiful striking male in black coat and a red helmeted crested forehead. It is rather big bird of about 1.3ft with long legs and toes like Jacanas. These birds probe with their bill in mud or shallow water, also picking up food by sight.
They mainly eat mollusc insects and small fish and seeds They forage on the around. Watercock are quite secretive, but are sometimes seen out in the open. They are noisy birds, especially at dawn and dusk, with a loud, gulping call.