Saturday, May 12, 2007

"Let's Dance" for a lark

Yellow-vented Flowerpecker by Yurie Ball

(May 10th HTT) Quite an interesting morning, A flock of ten Grey-headed Parakeets seen flying overhead. I haven’t seen that many before in the area, sometimes three or four but never more.
Two male Tickell’s Blue Flycatchers seen jousting for the favours of a female but when either of them approached she crouched and opened her beak wide at them. This was not a ‘I want to be fed’ posture it was definitely a threat posture , she was not giving her favours to either of them and taking the hint they both left.
I was recording a Black-throated Laughingthrush which was in good voice and then a White-rumped Shama burst in with its very melodic song but interspersed with part of the laughingthrush’s song, the shama does, quite often, incorporate other birdsongs into its own.
Recorded another bird, the Thick-billed Warbler, with its scratchy song and in the background were a couple of Lesser Coucals having a go at each other with their hiccupping and hooting calls, a nice combination.
Two Rufous-winged Bushlarks were doing quite an unusual number but this time it was a dance. They would do a fast mincing step running parallell to each other, then one would charge the other and stop within inches and go back into the parallell dance and this went on for about five minutes, obviously two males and again quite entertaining and it was much more entertaining than my description.
After all the rain we have been having the lake is back to full so we have lost our mud-banks and the Ruddy-breasted Crake has lost its promenade.
Migrants seen: 1 Black-naped Oriole, 2 Thick-billed Warblers, 1 Chinese Pond-Heron and 6 Common Moorhens. The moorhens are difficult to keep a check on as there are a lot of fishermen who get to the lakeside at dawn and if they are there before me the moorhens go into hiding amongst the reed and mimosa, this morning I was there first.

(May 11th HTT) Low count this morning 44-12, it must have been the weather. The rain was monsoonal just before we left home and then slowed to a light drizzle. It also caused a blackout so my morning cup of tea was brought to me by candlelight.
Two Oriental Turtle Doves seen, could easily be confused with the Spotted Dove in the field. One way of telling them apart is to check the tails as they land, they will flare out and the tips of the turtle dove will be grey and the spotted will be white.
There is a tree that at certain times of the year will generally yield a Yellow-vented Flowerpecker or two, but I hadn’t seen one for a few months, this morning one was back in the same tree.
A Little Heron has turned up, I haven’t seen one since April 23rd and before that I would see one almost every day so naturally I assumed they had all migrated.
A nomadic fisherman, one who roams the lakeside casting a spinner, beat me to my favourite spot for moorhens so none were visible but I did finally see one in another spot. So those were the only migrants seen today.

(May 12th HTT) The Shikra’s nest showed signs of life this morning, a young one dressed in creamy buff down was seen lying dangerously close to the edge of the nest. It finally made the right move back into the nest.
A Black Drongo was spotted sitting on a small neat nest made of intertwined twigs. I’ve noticed that drongos tend to make small nests compared to their size.
Four White-throated Kingfishers sitting in a dead tree, two of them were doing the wing-flicking display.
Migrants seen: 2 Common Moorhens and one Chinese Pond-Heron in non-breeding plumage.


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