The population of one of Scotland’s rarest birds the corncrakes has increased for the first time in three years, a wildlife charity said yesterday.

The number of male singing corncrakes, an elusive farmland species which migrates to Scotland from sub-Saharan Africa, rose this year to just under 1,200, RSPB Scotland said.

Corncrakes are related to moorhens, coots and rails but differ from most members of the family because they live on dry land. They are very secretive, spending most of their time hidden in tall vegetation, their presence only betrayed by their rasping call. In flight their bright chestnut wings and trailing legs are unmistakable.

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us