Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Poncho Paradise

Black-naped Oriole by Yurie Ball

Well the weather really is interfering with the work, more specifically the rain is. I don’t mind the discomfort, a poncho can keep me dry but the birds are keeping quiet and undercover and are more difficult to find. The important one’s are the migrants at this time of the year and the only one’s that have not been affected by the rain are the water birds. Of the migrants the Common Moorhen is going to be the easiest to keep a check on as it saunters up and down the shoreline searching for food come rain or shine (Last year I saw the last one on May 16th.) Some Chinese Pond-Herons are still showing up but I feel that these are birds that started their migration from farther south. But the other shore birds such as snipe, herons, little and grey, sandpipers and egrets seem to have left already, some stragglers may pass through but that’s about it. Last year the Mango rains started on May 11th. , this year May 4th. .

(May 7th. HTT) Rather amusing to see a Black-collared Starling try to cope with a plastic bag, circa 1ft.X 1ft., it finally did manage to struggle off the ground with it and flew off. Some birds do use odd material in building their nests.
A Chestnut-headed Bee-eater was seen on the telegraph wires, I almost took it as a juvenile Green Bee-eater with its yellow throat but then saw the dark gorget. I don’t often see it in the area.
I forgot to mention that the White-throated Kingfishers had started to flick their wings in display about a week ago, the idea must be to shown the white wing patches, they do stand out and they were doing it again today.
A Little Grebe was seen in one of the smaller ponds, they’ve been pretty scarce this year. I think the increase in human activity around the lake can be blamed for that.
Three pairs of Fulvous-breasted Woodpeckers were seen in different parts of the area, also a pair of Rufous Woodpeckers were seen.

(May 8th HTT) The Common Koels still very noisy during the heavy rain and the Plaintive Cuckoos persistent in their calling, four or five going at the same time. They are mostly using their descending call but I have noticed that if I make their three note ascending call they will often reply with it.
Migrants seen: 5 Chinese Pond-Herons, 2 Brown Shrikes, 8 Moorhens and one Thick-billed Warbler.

(May 9th HTT) A male and female Golden-fronted Leafbirds were seen flying to and from their nest carrying food on the inward journey, obviously feeding young. I couldn’t actually see the nest as it was covered by leaves. Otherwise nothing unusual although the count wasn’t bad, 50spp seen and 17 identified by call.
Migrants seen: 1 Black-naped Oriole, 1 Thick-billed Warbler, 1 Barn Swallow, 1 Chinese Pond-Heron and 1 Moorhen, almost a mass exodus of Moorhens since yesterday.