In this unexciting field on the way from the hotel to the pier, beside the busiest road in the island, estimated traffic one vehicle per hour, on a rainy Saturday morning, there is a corncrake calling.
I knew it for a corncrake from the time I was in Donegal. It was late evening and outside there was an unearthly noise. ‘Frogs,’ we said. The noise increased. ‘Lots of frogs.’ It still increased. We were besieged by frogs. So we went outside to fight them off. Outside the noise had a different quality. ‘It’s one enormous frog,’ one of us said. It was almost dark now. Croak, croak, said the enormous frog. And then suddenly there was a rustle in the long grass, and a last croak, and the frog flew away into the night.
We went inside and looked up bird books, and so I was introduced to the corncrake. It is called Arx Arx [but see below!] from its croaking call. It is terribly shy and lurks in the long grass hiding from the RSPB. I expect it would be mortified to know that the spellchecker wanted to call this post Sex Sex.
Corrected to get its name right, now that I’ve found a bird book again. The corncrake is safe after all from the libidinous spellchecker.
Herself: Well, Arx Arx did not sound right, phonetically – more like a rook. Sparrows are libidinous but they cheep.