Thursday, May 17, 2007

Taken on by the Mob!


Red-whiskered Bulbul by Yurie Ball

(May 14th HTT) It wasn’t supposed to rain according to the forecaste but it did. Low count again (37-12) as the birds were keeping under cover.
3 bedraggled Rufous Woodpeckers, 2 male and one female were seen together, the males were buffeting each other with their wings, eventually all three flew off. Just a little farther on a male Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker was working on an old hole which I had been watching for further occupancy.
A male and female Greater Painted Snipe were seen in the flooded paddy stubble. A reminder that it is the female that has the colour and the male a dull brown, she is polygamous and he broods the eggs and looks after the young.
Migrants seen: A Little Heron and two Chinese Pond-Herons in non-breeding plumage.

(May 15th HTT) An interesting accident. I was rewinding my tape and went back too far into another recording I had made earlier in the morning. It was of a Rufous-winged Buzzard and I let it run. Suddenly the woods came alive, birds were moving in on me and up to that moment things had been pretty quiet. Among those ‘mobbing’ me were a female Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher, a Yellow-bellied Warbler, a White-rumped Shama, a Black-naped Monarch, 4 or 5 Striped Tit-Babblers, 2 Greater Racket-tailed Drongos, 2 Rufous Treepies, 2 Puff-throated Babblers, 1 Rufous-fronted Babbler, 3 or 4 Red-whiskered Bulbuls and a chorus of White-crested Laughingthrushes in the background. Quite amazing considering how quiet it was a few minutes before!
No migrants seen this morning.

(May 16th HTT) Got some good recordings of an Asian Barred Owlet with its trilling and yelping calls. More importantly on replaying it I realised that I had also recorded the call of a White-bellied Yuhina and even more importantly this worthy bird brings the figure for the area to 250 species! This happened in my new patch of woodland and as soon as I realised what it was I went back in and finally got a look at it. Just as I was leaving the area a group of workmen were on their way in, they were carrying a bandsaw and axes, they at least had the decency to look sheepish as they trooped by me, they knew that what they were about to do was forbidden. I left the area to the sound of the saw and axes in action. Am I paranoid or are they following me and then chopping up my best spots?
Two male Common Koels seen facing off, there was a lot of tail flicking and bobbing but nothing really physical, although their screeching did batter my ears.
Saw a Velvet-fronted Nuthatch which is worth a mention as I’ve only seen it once before in the area. Again, it was hearing its call that put me onto it.
Migrants seen: Two Common Moorhens in two different spots.

(May 17th HTT) The lake is full to overflowing and the lakeside trees have marched into the lake up to their knees.
As I was watching one Shikra chick peering over the edge of the nest the female flew in to feed it, the meal was a lizard. It’s interesting that the losing of the down starts at the rear end of the chick working it way up to its head. It’s the same when a young fledged bird changing from speckled brown, in the case of the Oriental Magpie Robin, to black and white, it starts with the tail and works it way up the body. Saw the White-bellied Yuhina again, also the Yellow-bellied Warbler. At the same time a Crested Serpent Eagle was seen soaring and calling with its two note call.
Migrants seen: 2 Common Moorhens

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