Thursday, December 07, 2006

A BLIZZARD OF BUZZARDS?


Verditer Flycatcher by Yurie Ball

(November 30th HTT) Found another good fruiting tree which is attracting some interesting birds. Problem is I can’t identify the tree but its position is being mapped and dated for future reference. The Coppersmith Barbets and Lineated Barbets were in the majority. A small flock of Black-headed Bulbuls were also seen in the tree including another grey morph. This strengthens my view that they are not as rare as the book would have it. A Verditer Flycatcher was seen at the top of the tree but didn’t appear to be taking any part in the feeding frenzy.

Other birds putting in an appearance this morning were a Ruddy-breasted Crake. This bird has a very distinctive trill and it is this call that usually brings it to one’s attention, more often seen than heard as it is a skulker.

(December 1st Mae Hia) Not too much to report but at Stench Bend, looking into the foothills of Doi Suthep quite a few raptors have been turning up. Today produced two Rufous-winged Buzzards, two Crested Honey Buzzards and a Crested Serpent Eagle.

Nothing to do with birds but an interesting happening. One of the many stray dogs that roam both HTT and MH was spotted with the half eaten carcase of a Thai hare. A few minutes later another hare bounded towards us as if looking for something but turned off on seeing us. Now I don’t believe in anthropomorphism but it did seem that this hare was in distress – draw your own conclusions.

(December 2nd HTT) A bumper four hours this morning, 70 species seen and 9 identified by call. A little late to be important as returnees but 2 male and 2 female Rosy Minivets seen. Another interesting sighting was a flock of 20+ Long-tailed Minivets. According to the book they should be above 900 metres but of course they can’t read the book. They were seen on a regular basis down here last year.

December 4th Mae Hia) Another good morning with 68-8. It was the raptors again that surprised me. 4 Black Bazas harassing 3 Crested Honey Buzzards, a Black-shouldered Kite seen hovering over a newly harvested rice field, a Common Buzzard, a Shikra, a Kestrel and 2 Rufous-winged Buzzards. It can’t last!

(December 7th Mae Hia) A returnee Grey-faced Buzzard, the last one I saw just before migrating was on May 19th . Also seen, another Verditer Flycatcher and a solitary Thick-billed Pigeon.

22 Comments:

At 9:52 AM, Blogger Mark Varney said...

Hi Tony
I wanted to say how much I appreciate your blog/diary.
I'm based in Chiang Mai, but have been in Japan for most of this year. So your diary gives me great enjoyment. Thank you.
Mark Varney

 
At 6:57 AM, Blogger Tony Ball said...

Hi Mark,

Nice to get a comment, I don't get many. What is the attraction of Japan for you? Japan was also part of my history for ten years and thoroughly enjoyed it.

All the best - Tony

 
At 4:58 AM, Blogger Mark Varney said...

Hi Tony

I'm teaching English language university courses here in Japan. I had been involved in Thai education for more than 10 years.
I am loving Japan, but also miss Chiang Mai. I've been birding here a few times, mainly in the Tokyo Bay area.
I'm very inerested by your reports from HTT. I've been there a few times. Which area of HTT do you cover?
Thanks again.
Mark

 
At 6:19 PM, Blogger Tony Ball said...

Hi Mark,

I cover the HTT lake which has a perimeter of about two and a half kilometres. As you might have gathered from my blog the lake surrounds are being blitzed in the name of progress and public entertainment. The birds are coping quite well under the circumstances. Maybe you will want to read my other blog, my not so nice side, it also contains Thai News. http://uk.360.yahoo.com/ball_antony

When in Japan I lived in Kyodo on the Odakyu line.

Best regards - Tony

 
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