Saturday, 13 November 2010

Up at the Reservoir this afternoon

Eastern yellow wagtail
Motacilla tschutschensis
Huai Mai Teng Reservoir
Ratchaburi 13.11.10

I was a good husband and attended to some domestic chores this morning as opposed to the usual dawn start. So I went up to Huai Mai Teng Reservoir this afternoon with the objective of taking pictures. On arrival at my normal watch area my car flushed a common kestrel from a nearby tree which initially I thought was a red-collared dove, but almost immediately realised it was too big. The kestrel parked on a nearby tree for long enough to allow me to get my bins on it but sadly I hadn't a camera ready so no photograph as it flew off soon after. This is a new species for the patch but I did see it last year in Petchaburi in the Wat Nong Bla Lai area. It is a stunning looking bird, brown back flecked with black, a grey head and a lot of yellow in and around the eyes. I often wonder why many birders are so sartorially challenged when they spend so much time looking at such perfectly colour co-ordinated creatures as birds, and the common kestrel perfectly epitomises this! I think if I ever have to wear a suit again I will wear a brown one with a grey shirt and a yellow tie!

Little ringed plover
Charadrius dubius
Huai Mai Teng Reservoir
Ratchaburi 13.11.10

I am pleased with the photograph of the eastern yellow wagtail grey wagtail, a female methinks, (edit 14.11.10: thanks to Paan for correcting me: this is an eastern yellow wagtail....I am still pleased with the photograph!) as the bird never seems to stand still and the very dainty little ringed plover, above, kept on chasing him away. The plover photo is interesting: I opened the aperture to f2.8, its widest, which means the resulting image was heavily vignetted. I have cropped the photo and this is the outcome. Not bad given that it was taken at 5:00 pm.

I sat in my armchair for the afternoon hoping that the kestrel might return or a pied harrier or two. But none materialised. What did materialise were lots of green bee-eaters, paddyfield pipits and I believe some Richard's pipits but I have to say I am not sure about these two latter species. I think my claiming a Richard's pipit a few week's ago was premature and I think I better remove it until I am certain.

Red wattled lapwing
Vanellus indicus
Huai Mai Teng Reservoir
Ratchaburi 13.11.10

I am very pleased with this lapwing simply on account of it being a good digiscoped image. Lots of other common birds. Maybe it is time to head to the coast and get some practise on shorebirds. Whatever there is a lot to be said for sitting on a chair watching the world go past. Very peaceful, very relaxing.

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