Not usually seen in flight, the Water Rail has mostly brown upperparts. Note the striking red eye and grey face and breast of this bird.
The adult Water Rail has a rich brown back, grey chest and it's flanks are barred white and black. It has a red eye and a red bill tipped with black.
Adult Male & Female
General distribution: Can be found throughout most of Europe being a resident bird in Southern and Western areas. Birds which breed in the North of Europe tend to head South for the winter. Resident in the UK and considered widespread but very hard to see.
Habitat: Dense reeds around freshwater and muddy ditches are the Water Rails usual habitat.
Notes: A frustrating bird to see, the Water Rail is most often heard calling from dense vegetation. Occasionally a bird will be seen to run across an open area between cover.
Can be confused with the rare Spotted Crake which has a much shorter bill and lacks the grey face and breast.