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Water Rail

An elusive species of reed beds, not uncommon but seldom seen.

Photograph by: 
Mark Wright

There are no nature notes for this species



Common Name Water Rail
Scientific Name Rallus aquaticus
Species Group Birds Rails and cranes
Status Occasional
Interest Level
  • 01 - January
  • 02 - February
  • 03 - March
  • 04 - April
  • 05 - May
  • 06 - June
  • 07 - July
  • 08 - August
  • 09 - September
  • 10 - October
  • 11 - November
  • 12 - December
Look for

A pig-like squeal from reeded areas

Identification Notes
  • Secretive birds that spend a lot of time in amongst reeds rarely emerging in to the open
  • They have a strange, almost unbird-like call, a bit like a squealing pig!
  • Present all year round and more likely to be seen in autumn/winter and heard in spring 
Primary Habitat
Preferred Environment
Look for
Additional Identification Notes
Similar Species

The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail:

Notebook Distribution Map Sites List Some Charts Some Photographs Recent Records Guidance Notes

To see related species click here: 

Birds Rails and cranes