Thursday, September 28, 2006

A Dancing Dervish

Black Kite-by Yurie Ball


(September 25th. HTT)
I came across a Ruddy-breasted Crake displaying on the edge of a rice field. Very weird behaviour. It would arch its wings above its back and go into a sequence of ducking movements. Then when it got tired of doing that it would stretch its wings out and run in circles just like a child would when imitating the flight of an airplane. It would then go into a frenzied bout of preening and repeat the whole process again.I have to assume that it wasn't doing all this for nothing and that there was a female nearby, probably as bemused as I was by its antics. I watched it for about twenty minutes and then I got tired just watching it and left the bird still going at it. Numbers of species seen this morning was 58 and another 8 species identified by call.

Three more migrants have returned today, the Red-throated Flycatcher (2), Black Baza (4), and the Little Egret (5). The Black Baza is both a resident and a migrant species but when you see them in numbers it usually indicates that they are the migrant variety arriving back from the north. I’ve never understood the purpose of the ridiculous crest it sports, two long feathers sticking straight up from the centre of its head, again just like children dressing up as Red Indians or, to be politically correct, Native Americans.

(September 26th) Other returnees were three Eurasian Wrynecks, I first heard its very distinctive and loud kwee-kwee-kwee-kwee call and finally spotted the first one.

(September 27th) Two new species for the area, the Slender-billed Oriole and the Oriental Turtle-Dove (now 185 for the area). Count for the morning was 57 seen and 8 identified by call .

(September 28th) Another interesting bird, seen today, that I haven’t seen much of lately, and that is the Thick-billed Pigeon. It is one of the thirteen species of green pigeons to be found in Thailand. The surprising thing about today’s sighting was the number in the flock, 30+, and there were more males (with their purple wings) than females. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen so many together. On a par with that sighting was a lone Black Kite which " The Book" says is a common resident. This was only the third time I have seen one in Thailand. I specify Thailand because once when I was passing through Bombay (PC Mumbai) there were hundreds circling in the sky. Another place was Kamakura in Japan and there again there were hundreds circling in the sky.

Footwear: Suk my assistant has stuck the offending sole back on my left shoe with superglue. I view this with some foreboding as now both soles are singing songs every time I take a step. The cause is that the damp which has seeped in has combined with the air bubbles trapped there. We can only hope that these annoying sounds may attract the birds. Now I carry two extra pairs of shoes in the boot of the car just in case.

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