Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Savage Nature

It's pretty low key here on the bird front simply on the basis of inactivity and a reluctance to get out of bed very early. As always the bird world is rarely uneventful.

red collared dove and two fledglings

These last few weeks we have had a nest with two fledgling red-collared doves on our balcony. All was going well until Monday morning when I noticed the nest was empty and assumed the birds had made their first bold bid for freedom. In the evening my wife told me that a stray dog had got into our garden this morning and she saw it had one of the fledglings in its mouth. I had a look round our balcony and discovered the other one near the heat source of an air-conditioning compressor. I was very sad as I had enjoyed watching mum and the two fledglings. I returned this bird to the nest and it is still alive and seems quite chirper, in fact, but I have no idea if mother is feeding it.

fledgling red-collared doves
the mother looking on at her babies

I am not sure what to do. Hopefully it will fly to freedom in the nest few days. My word nature is brutal. How utterly traumatic and savage. Being a witness to this, the highs and lows, has been almost like a privilege, albeit tinged with a degree of sadness due to recent developments. However this is how it is being a newly fledged bird.

On the subject of fledglings a trip to Chaloerm Phrakhiat Thai Prachan NP on Sunday yielded a fledgling greater racket-tailed drongo. I have to thank the members of and Bird Conservation Society of Thailand for assisting in the identification. The only thing I got right was that it was recently fledged; in fact I thought it might be a little cormorant as I have seen a few of them around the reservoir here.

recently fledged greater racket-tailed drongo
Chaloem Phrakhiat Thai Prachan NP

Elsewhere I had nice views of a female black-naped monarch. No photo due to poor light but what a beautiful head, much richer and subtler in colouring than the drawings in the field books. As always the usual suspects. There has been rain but it has had no discernible impact on the very low water levels in the reservoir.

This evening I went out for a walk in the rice paddy and had a lovely view of a cinnamon bittern; there are a few of them around together with yellow bitterns. I left the camera at home so just had the bins. I saw some ducks flying and followed them to their landing spot to discover they were lesser whistling ducks. Sorry to say I was almost disappointed as the light on the aerial birds made them look quite different so I went in pursuit with high hopes. Plenty of red-wattled lapwing screeching at me, no doubt fearful that I was encroaching on their nests.

The barn swallows appear to have departed but there are many asian palm swifts in their place and the paddy also boasts some  ashy woodswallows nesting in the elctricity pylons.

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