Monday, May 21, 2007

A rubbish dump of a nest


Above is evidence that the Red-whiskered Bulbul has no aesthetic sense, but it’s not the only bird guilty of this. It was photographed this morning in my 10ft x 10ft garden – as for the size of the garden I admit that I chose the house just because of the garden’s size, I don’t have a green thumb and I’m lazy!

(May 18th HTT) This morning I recorded a Lineated Barbet using its most unusual croaking call. When I first heard this call some years ago it stumped me, it was ages before I actually saw one making it, problem solved.
Migrants seen: 1 Common Moorhen and 1 Barn Swallow.

(May 19th HTT) I had just finished recording a flock of noisy White-crested Laughingthrushes that were passing by when two Chestnut-winged Cuckoos showed up. They were obviously on the trail of these birds and would eventually lay their eggs in one of their nests. I managed to record them muttering away with hoarse grating and squeaking calls and just one loud whistle, this is the first time I have recorded them. It’s a pity, though, that they weren’t using their louder calls as I had to compete against the all pervading calls of the resident cicadas. This was in the same patch of woodland that I spotted the other Chestnut-winged Cuckoo on the 18th. of April.
A male White-rumped Shama was seen attacking a female and I have to, shamefacedly, admit it was my fault and I promise not to do it again. I was recording the male which was in fine voice but it stopped short of what I needed so I played it back. Now this is something one shouldn’t do especially at this time of year as it drives the males mad, but It had no reason to attack a female! But seriously one really shouldn’t do it. If you feel you have to attract their attention try using a raptor call as I did the other day, it doesn’t seem to stress them. The reason that hearing their own call played back stresses them is that they think that it’s another male that has invaded their territory, they don’t recognise their own voices.
For the first time this year I heard the ‘zee-zee brink’ of the Bright-capped Cisticola. Last year they started on April 21st and they were at it almost continuously until July 7th.
Just about all the Lesser Whistling Ducks in the area have paired up and can be seen flying around together most of the morning.
Migrants seen: 2 Olive-backed Pipits. The last one’s seen at HTT last year was on the 7th. of April.

(May 21st HTT) A Eurasian Jay was seen calling but you wouldn’t have known it was a jay unless you saw it calling. It had hi-jacked the call of the Rufous-winged Buzzard and had it down to perfection.
A leafless tree provided the next attraction, there was a Lineated Barbet on the left side minding its own business, a few feet away a male and female Common Koel were mating, in the centre a Rufous-winged Buzzard was tearing away at a frog clutched in its talons, on the right an adult Coppersmith Barbet was feeding its young and four Collared Doves were looking on. But no partridges in a dead tree.
The patch of woodland provided the opportunity of recording the complaints of a pair of Blue-bearded Bee-eaters, the cacophany of sound they created forced me to turn down the volume, the needle was in the red.
One of the young Shikras, almost fully fledged now, was sitting on a branch a few feet away from the nest, no sign of the other one but it was probably in the nest.
Migrant seen: 1 lonely Barn Swallow.

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