Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Female Purple Sunbird feeding young in nest

(March 9th 2007 HTT) A new bird for the area, a single Great Iora. It is down in the book as common but I must admit that when I saw this one it elicited a ‘Wow’ from me. You will gather from that that I don’t see it very often. The number for the area is now 245spp.
Two Streak-eared Bulbul seen building a nest and two Wire-tailed Swallows seen flying under the Sala at the big Buddha. They were carrying downy white feathers which indicated to me that they had finished the basic nest and were finishing off with a lining. For the last 3 years I have watched pairs building nests in the same place but each time they have disappeared and not followed through.
The lake is shrinking at last and today a Green Sandpiper and a Common Sandpiper were seen feeding in the mud that has been exposed. It has come at the right time as we will have a few more passage migrants passing through soon (waders) and they will have somewhere to feed.
I know now that we have at least 3 Ruddy-breasted Crakes in the area as they were trilling away at each other this morning. I used to hear only one trilling and it sounded quite lonely, there never was a reply until now.

(March 12th 2007 HTT) A lone Pompadour Pigeon seen sitting high up in a tree and suddenly it gave a burst of weird whistles as I was watching. Needless to say the moment I got out my recorder it never gave another peep.
A Purple Sunbird seen feeding its young in the nest just 2 metres up in some bamboo. Both parent birds were doing the feeding but as soon as we brought out the camera the male became camera shy.
A Blue-winged Leafbird was seen and heard singing, not a patch on The Golden-fronted Leafbird’s song but a pleasure to see as it doesn’t appear too often in the area.

(March 14th 2007 HTT) Both the Lesser Coucal and the Chinese Pond Herons are now changing into their breeding plumage. Most of the Pond herons have already left for their breeding grounds in the north but we can look forward to the displaying and calling of the coucal with its hoots and hiccups.
I was surprised at seeing 20+ Red Turtle Doves a few weeks ago but today I saw 70+. They were jinking and swooping through the air as they went from one tall tree to another.

Pollution. I caught one of the workers lighting two small fires this morning. I said to her in my limited Thai ‘mai dai’ ( you can’t do that), her reply was to say ‘nitnoy-nitnoy’ (little, little), then I pointed to various points of the compass and said nitnoy, nitnoy, nitnoy, nitnoy and then threw my arms heavenwards and said mak, mak (a lot, a lot – of course referring to the smoke). She grinned sheepishly and carried on setting fire to more heaps of leaves.


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