Monday, July 9, 2012



We spotted and photographed this Buff-banded rail from the car as our family arrived at Silverleaves on the weekend. They do appear to be regulars here - we see them from time to time.

Buff-banded rail, Silverleaves, Phillip Island


I went back to see to see if I could get some better shots and all I found was this:

Buff-banded rail, suspected road kill (the concrete is the shoulder of the road)

I don't really think it is the same bird (a little cold and stiff) but it was still pretty disheartening. Rails hold a special little place in our birding sphere. It was a long time before we ever saw one and since then we have always been excited to spot them again!

I find it hard to fathom how this occurred as the road is a 40km/h pedestrian-shared space. My only guess is that there were vehicles moving both ways and in evading one vehicle the bird has moved into the path of another. It is a narrow road and cars have to move to the side to pass each other.

Google StreetView, Honeysuckle Ave, Silverleaves. The grassed area is currently a lake!


  1. not nice to witness a bird fatality, there's likely to be a mate stressing out somewhere. A beautiful bird that you photographed

  2. I'd be shocked too as it was the intended subject for revisiting the location. I'm sorry you had to see it. I can never understand the amount of road kill in Australia. A single deer killed on a highway made it into the TV news here in Japan a few years ago and the police arrived and closed traffic lanes and ushered traffic while they removed the body and assistance also came to carefully relocate the onwatching mate. Imagine that attitude in Oz. I remember we stopped in Brisbane and I got out to help a Koala stranded in the middle of a busy road and I almost became a carcass on the side of the road...

  3. This is such a disheartening story! Russell is right, there is way too much roadkill in Australia - people really just don't care I think! I am forever checking animals on the road, rescuing injured ones and sadly seeing ones like this that can't be helped. Judi