Thursday, 21 October 2010

A Few Common Birds, Ratchaburi

Plantive Cuckoo
Cacomantis merulinus
I went back to my local rice paddy after work today hoping to see the Indian nightjar. No sign of it but lots of common birds including this beauty, a Plaintive Cuckoo, the male of the species, sporting some very fine threads. It really pays to check every bird as I did with the Indian Nightjar and now this fellow, which I thought was a red-collared dove as it flew sharply into the reeds. The bird's beautiful tail feathers immediately disabused me of this idea and I had a notion it was a male Plaintive Cuckoo because I knew it was quite different in appearance from the female which I have seen on a number of occasions. Even allowing for such beautiful plumage the Plaintive Cuckoo is regarded as a common bird, but this is the first male I have seen.
White-throated kingfisher
Halcyon smyrnensis
Elsewhere black drongos, Chinese pond heron, plain prinias, red-wattled lapwing, little egrets, common myna, a white-throated kingfisher or two and an Asian koel, feeding on bananas. This bird is best known for the racket it kicks up even in the densest parts of Bangkok, very loud, very sharp "ou ou ou ou".

Asian koel
Eudynamys scolopacea

Now as the light faded I thought I saw an Eastern Stonechat. I took some pictures but they are not so good and I used the scope to take a description and now I have checked my field guides I am not sure that is. It had a distinct buffish neck with a darker, more orangey breast and I am not sure if it could be a Grey Bushchat. I am not going to be able to call this so I'll let it go for the minute and hopefully this species will still be around into next week when I am next likely to get out there. This time tomorrow, Friday, we will be headed to Chumphon for the weekend.

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