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Farmer's delight as he records call of corncrake

A County Antrim farmer has spoken of his delight at being able to record the sound of one of Northern Ireland's rarest birds, the elusive corncrake.

Robert Brown (65) of Ballinlea Road near Ballycastle, heard the distinctive rasping call of the bird early in the morning on several occasions in recent weeks.

He also managed to record the corncrake’s rasping call on his phone near his home in the townland of Maghernahare.

Mr Brown last heard the bird 55 years ago when he was a child growing up at Straid.

He is so pleased about capturing the call that he has been letting his friends hear it on his phone and jokes he is even thinking of making it his ringtone.

Mr Brown also contacted the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) to let them know about his rare discovery and an official travelled to his home to speak to him.

He said: “I could not believe that I heard it because corncrakes are now so rare because the way farming is done has changed so much.

“I’m not a bird follower but we do hear cuckoos and the like here but to hear the corncrake was great. It is a very unique thing to hear nowadays.”

Belfast Telegraph