Hunt for a corncrake

Korostel was and will be one of the most coveted trophies of the hunter, since it is difficult to catch it, but it’s very interesting to hunt! These birds lead a secretive life, almost always disappearing in the grass.

Since we are talking about birds, I am simply obliged to inform you (although it is not interesting for most of them) that the corncrake belongs to the cowherd family and the shepherdess’s group.
Kristel lives on almost the entire territory of Russia, it does not occur only in the Far North and the Far East.

This bird is migratory, therefore its life is divided into two parts: life in our country and life in the hot countries of the African continent south of the Sahara. What they do in Africa, I do not know, so I will keep silent on this topic, but I will tell you about the life of the krestels in our vast Federation with SuperRr.

The first skorosteli arrive to us in early May, and those who are late arrive until the beginning of June. Since the corncrake is very secretive, the flights to the place of residence are carried out only at night, and mostly single-handedly. The late arrival of these birds is due to the fact that they are waiting for the time when the grass grows higher in which they spend most of their life. And indeed, in the air they rise very rarely, under force majeure circumstances, when, for example, their lives are in danger.

But even in this case they do not fly far away, like the black grouse, and fly away by a few tens of meters, and again zatyatsya in the grass. Moving corncrake in the grass very quickly. I do not even know why they do not like flying so much. Probably, during the flight from Africa to Russia they are so tired that they do not want to fly unnecessarily.

The first to arrive are males, followed by females. Most often they can be found in flood meadows, in wet swampy areas, and sometimes near arable land, but they avoid very wet places. You can learn the corncrake by the following signs: body length is no more than 30 cm, weight is not more than 200 g., Feathers are brownish-red, which is “diluted” with black feathers, which makes the color shimmered variegated. The female from the male is practically no different.

The period of mating games in kosteley begins almost immediately after the arrival. Males, usually calm and quiet, start yelling at the whole forest something like “creak-creak-creaks”, attracting females. After mating, the coronation-female begins to build a nest. It is located on the ground in a dry place. Often it is disguised under a bush. The bird pulls out a pit of 3-4 cm in depth and a diameter of 11-15 cm, which she carefully and strikingly lays with grass and moss. The female carries from 7-8 to 12-13 eggs, which incubates for about 17 days. Color of eggs bluish with red specks.

Korostel is a devoted mother who heroically protects her chicks. Even when they are not yet hatched. They say she will never leave the clutch, even if a person approaches her, so the bird can be easily taken in hand. After the birth, the chicks with black fluff leave the nest in the thickets and the first two weeks are under the mother’s wing. After learning how to independently produce food, begin to adulthood. And their mother, having brought up the first brood of young korostelei, can create the second one.

The brood of dolphins, dermatoses, derguns, dreggs, crochets (other names are corroded) are beetles, insects, worms, insect larvae, snails, caterpillars, grasshoppers, locusts … There are still cases when the corncrake destroys the nests of smaller birds, destroying their offspring as predatory martens). The cornstal exhibits the greatest activity in the evening twilight and at dawn.
In the warm edges korostel flies away from us somewhere in the middle of autumn.

You can hunt dodder with dogs, and without them. On the corncrake one should not take dogs of the breed of the dug-dogs, because they, because of the behavior of this bird, lose their hunting qualities and can not work for other species of birds, for example, snipe. The fact is that the corncrake does not stand upright and immediately breaks into a run, thereby leading the dog into unnecessary excitement.

But it is possible to hunt for the dergachi with the courtyards (mongrels), who have a good flair. They may be able to raise the bird on the wing. The corncrake flies very heavily, slowly, and it is easy to get into it. But most often birds flee and hide in such thickets of bush, from which they can not be thrown out.

You can hunt for a corncrake and without dogs. The hunter comes in advance to the place where the corncrake is found, mows the grass patch and builds a sidetrack from the branches where it will be masked. The next day, before dawn comes to this sitting and carefully watches the sloping site. Running corncobs can accidentally run out on him and get under the hunter’s shot. Naturally, on this hunt you can not count ravens, you need to closely monitor the site. For a day in this way, you can catch a dozen of these two birds.

For hunting on a corncrake take a fraction number 7 and less, with a small amount of damage. It is best to use smokeless gunpowder so that you can see where the prey fell.

Korostel, or dergach, is well known to most of our hunters. It is widely distributed almost throughout the country and does not occur only in the Far North; in southern Kazakhstan and in most areas of Central Asia, he does not nest, but comes across spans

Korostel belongs to the detachment and the family of cowherds, the genus of the corncrackers. In places it is called dregun, derkach, crack and mallard.
It’s a small bird. Its length varies from 24 to 30 cm. It weighs on average about 200 to 250 grams.

Korostel – a bird picked up, as they say “toasting”. It has a narrow elongated and squeezed lateral trunk, a long neck, a short tail and relatively high legs. Its color is dominated by red, ocher colors. From above it is covered with dark-brown feathers, spotted with olive-black spots; throat, cheeks and underside of the neck ash gray, the sides of the body are dark-brown in red spots, the wings are brownish-red in small, light yellow spots. A bill is brown, dark eyes, brown.

Korostel is a migratory bird. He flies to our country in May, flies to the south from August, lingering in nesting places until the middle of October. It hibernates in Africa and in South Asia.
They live mostly on herbaceous grass; marshy swamps and meadows, near rivers and corn fields. They prefer wet, but not too damp places, overgrown with thick and tall grass with a lot of bushes. In this grass, the dermatists make trails – the “paths” along which they run very cleverly and quickly, and during the movement they completely do not oscillate the stems of the grasses. They feed on insects and their larvae, worms, mollusks, caterpillars and various seeds. They also show predatory tendencies, ruining the nests of small birds, devouring their eggs and hatching the brains of the chicks.

Immediately after arriving at the nesting place, the mating season begins at the coronation. At this time during the round day you can hear his creaky, consisting of two syllables scream, reminiscent of the sound, issued by the comb’s teeth, when it is driven by a piece of wood.

Dergachi do not break up into pairs, but live in polygamy. The female makes a nest in a dry place: she digs a hole in the ground and lays it with grass, moss and roots of plants. Masonry consists of eight to ten, and sometimes eleven to twelve eggs. One female incubates. The male does not take part in caring for the offspring.

The incubation lasts about three weeks. On the nest, the female sits tightly, allows even to take off her hands and often dies under the scythe during haymaking. Hatching chicks are covered with black woolly down and look more like mice than young birds. They leave the nest very soon and go with the mother in search of food. The female of the coronet shows very great care for her offspring. She selflessly protects the chicks from the enemy, searches for insects and worms, and on rest gathers them under the wing, like a hen’s hen.

Young corncrows are extremely agile creatures. They, like mice, dexterously run around in dense grass, in case of danger instantly hide, and so skillfully that it is almost impossible to find them.
Experienced hunters have repeatedly met during the training of dogs in the meadows female kostoleva with brood. The young crested on the first anxious cry of the mother rushed in different directions and instantly disappeared, and the female ran screaming in front of the dog, trying to take her away from the hidden kids. When they recalled the dog and left with her away, the caring mother continued to run for a while, escorting her enemies with alarming cries, and only after making sure that they were far enough returned to their chicks.

Young cornetes grow rapidly and develop. Soon they are completely covered with reddish-brown feathers and from animal-like chicks turn into adult birds. Only feathers on their wings do not grow right away, and they can not fly for a while. Hunters call them “clapper”. During this period the young dregs leave their mother and begin to lead an independent way of life.

In the southern regions of the country, old females often proceed to the second clutch and withdraw a second brood of chicks, which quickly grows up and by the time of flight to the south it is also completely grown up.

In the lifestyle of the corncrake one should note one feature on which the hunting for this bird is based.

Korostel very reluctantly rises to the wing and prefers to escape from the pursuit of flight in the dense grass. He runs so fast that it is extremely difficult to make him fly. Even in the early summer, when you can

to approach the screaming in the grass almost to the right, it is very rare to raise it to the wing. He usually runs off with great speed to the side, and his voice, which just sounded quite close, is heard somewhere off to the side, often at 20-30 meters. The speed of the corncrake during the run is amazing.

The corncrake takes off only in the most extreme cases, when he completely cut off the path to retreat on the ground. When he takes off, it seems that this bird does not fly at all. Climbing the air, the derrick flies slowly, low over the ground, in a straight line and very soon descends to the ground. During the flight he does not pick up his legs, they clumsily hang down.

However, the view that kosteli bad flying, is wrong. During the autumn and spring flights, which occur mainly at night, the dermatists rise high into the air, fly quickly and sporously, picking up their legs, overcoming large spaces and crossing the seas that lie on their way to wintering or nesting sites. Consequently, the reluctance of the coronet to rise into the air is due not to his poor flight abilities, but to the excellent qualities of the runner, who does not want to find himself and is able to deftly escape from the enemy with fast feet.

In this regard, it should be noted that the assumption that the corncrake in spring and autumn does not fly to nesting sites and wintering grounds, but moves on the ground, does not correspond to reality.

Hunting for a corncrake is random, although there is a way to hunt it on occassion.

With the onset of twilight and at dawn the dermatologist! animated and runs a lot in search of food. In places abundantly inhabited by the corncrake, the hunter builds a small shalashik, and around! he mows the grass stripes in the meadows. Running through the meadows, the jerk jumps out onto the beveled stripes and falls under the shot. Hunting like this! Thus, it is possible to get up to a dozen coronets for the dawn. However, this method is not very popular.

Hunting for a corncrake with a stub can also not be recommended, since the jerk does not stand up the rack, runs away from the dog and this is very hot for her. A young dog when you hunt for a corncrake can be spoiled: it will tear off the rack and on the hunt for a snipe, a snipe and! another valuable in terms of sports bird.

Sometimes they are hunted with a hound by a dog or a half-breed. Prichuyav in the grass of the corncrake, this half-breed rushes to him with strong leaps, and quite often she manages to raise the bird on the wing, under the hunter’s shot. But nevertheless, most of the dermatists manage to flee and hide in dense grass or bush, from which the dog, with all the diligence, can not drive the bird away.

The best way is still to be considered! hunting for a coronet with several well-trained spaniels. Scattered fan and prichuyav in the grass of a living corncrake, a dog! take him in an environment and from all sides rush to the bird. You can not escape the ditch without escape, all the ways to retreat are cut off, and he is forced to climb the wing and get under the shot.

Shoot up on the wing of the corncrake! easily. As already mentioned, the dermatist flies slowly, in a straight line and low above the ground. When the bird takes off, do not get hot and shoot immediately after the climb, as it usually escapes very close to the hunter. It is necessary to release the bird for twenty-five to thirty paces, to well cure and only then to shoot. Otherwise, at close range there may be misses, and if hit, the corncrake will be broken by a shot shell.

The gun should not have a heap of combat, nor is the sharpness of the battle required, since the corncrake is not a strong bird on the wound. Fraction should be applied to small, not larger than No. 7. It is advisable to use smokeless powder to prevent the smoke cloud from accurately detecting the place where the fallen corncrake falls, because it is not so easy to find it in dense and tall grass.

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