Thursday, September 14, 2006

RETURNING MIGRANTS AND OTHER THINGS

Little Ringed Plover - by Yurie Ball

I can now report that the migrants are streaming in: (1st. September) Little Ringed Plover and the Stonechat. (4th. September) a juvenile White Wagtail. (6th. September) the rare grey-backed Long-tailed Shrike from China , also a juvenile Osprey. (8th. September) a Green Sandpiper. (11th. September) a Common Buzzard and 7 Wood Sandpipers. (14th. September) a Thick-billed Warbler and a 2 Brown Shrikes, and many more to come.

A new addition today to Mae Hia birds, the Red Turtle Dove, a solitary one in a group of Spotted Doves now 177 species to date. Recently the very colourful Coppersmith Barbets have been flying around in groups of up to 15 birds. This morning 12 were seen in that same dead tree I mentioned last time. They were all facing the sun (7am) I suppose they were warming themselves up, although I was already sweating by this time. Another gathering was that of about 100 Barn Swallows on the telephone wire. Casting my binoculars along the rows of them I suddenly came across a Wire-tailed Swallow. It really stood out, its underparts were whiter than white as the Daz detergent commercial use to say. I wonder if it thought it was a Barn Swallow, I also wondered if there would have been a language problem?

A Pygmy Tree Shrew caused a bit of a laugh, for me not for it, I surprised it on a track about 50 metres ahead, it saw me and tore off along the track. Ahead was a long puddle and it took to the air. Not only did it mis-judge the length of the puddle but also the depth, the depth it could be forgiven for. It landed, legs splayed, it knew it had mis-judged the distance, with a splash and disappeared. When it reappeared it looked like a drowned rat. Its size, in fact, is about the size of a fairly large rat and in this case a seriously wet rat.

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