Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Mountain Hawk-Eagle by Yurie Ball

(November 1st Mae Hia) Two Common Moorhens seen fighting in Little Grebe Pond. They were using their usual form of attack which is laying backwards, this time in water, wings outstretched and pedalling at each other with their legs. This went on for a few minutes and then they turned 180 degrees and, necks outstretched along the water, wings arched up and tail straight up under the wings, they swam away. I don’t know what problem they solved but both seemed satisfied with the result. Two cuckoos also seen, a Plaintive Cuckoo and a Banded Bay Cuckoo. They were in swath of some cane-like plants which harbours many different species, it’s always worth a half hour of my time. Other birds seen there at different times are Siberian Rubythroats, Lesser Coucals, Eurasian Wrynecks, Chestnut-capped Babblers and Yellow-eyed Babblers. The latter bird actually has bright orange eyes. (morning count 61 seen – 9 heard)

(November 3rd. Mae Hia) Two Hoopoes seen and one immature Grey-headed Lapwing seen again. Nothing else to report.

(November 4th HTT) A Red Avadavat seen again, amazing I haven’t seen one for years and then two in a matter of days, there’s no accounting for it. A Black-capped Kingfisher was spotted bashing a really large caterpillar against a branch, preparatory to eating it. Both this kingfisher and the White-throated Kingfisher seem to prefer land-based insects, grubs, small reptiles etc. to fish. (morning count 60-13).

(November 6th KMP) Another morning with John up in the mountains and four new birds for the area, the Plain Flowerpecker, Little Cuckoo Dove, Rusty-cheeked Scimitar-Babbler and the Mountain Imperial Pigeon. The latter bird is rather surprising as we have never heard it calling. It has a very distinctive and far-carrying repetitive oomp-oomp call. John also went up there on his own the other day and spotted the spectacular Mountain Hawk-Eagle, darn it!! Figure for the area now 171 spp.

(November 8th HTT) Eight Black Bazas seen in two dead trees, probably migrants passing through. A Black-headed Bulbul was giving its usual boring chip call when suddenly it burst into song. Well it hardly burst into song but compared to its normal call that’s the only way to describe it. The Book gives a very good description and here it is. “A hesitant series of short, tuneless whistles”. My report card would read, “Could do better but is a definite improvement on his normal voice, elocution lessons recommended”

The Black Band of tar around the top end of the HTT lake has been completed but it appears that the workers have got their second wind. They are now busy despoiling the roadside vegetation, once they get into their stride there’s no stopping them. The only saving factor is that the other activities ATV, Paintball Battlefield and the Trampolining that I mentioned before don’t get going until the afternoon so they don’t disturb me. But we’ll have to wait and see how the birds are affected!


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