Openbills usually abound in and around my locale but until I saw a few perched on a tree this afternoon I can't tell you when I last saw any. And then we saw some! Luna, my wife, pointed out two huge kettles of them perhaps as many as 3,000 birds reasonably high in the sky. I didn't notice where they had parked but I presume they are back. What I want to know is where were they?
I find it very therapeutic to take a few hours in the rice paddy. Our boy can push his buggy about with impunity and tire himself out! The paddy is large, flat and open and there is always a pleasant breeze taking the edge of the heat. One side is bordered by the railway line and so the landscape is periodically broken up by rollingstock and its distinctive noise.
On arrival this afternoon there were five Black Kites cavorting in the sky and two turned their attention to the thousands of cattle egrets reaping the prey from flooded rice paddies. Mayhem! The kites are really big, ugly birds!
The Black-shouldered Kite above is a much more sophisticated and co-ordinated creature and this one offered me a few shots as it hovered over a potential evening meal.
Plenty of Plain Prinias, some Yellow-bellied Prinias, a few Ziting Cisticolas, about 6 Redshanks, one distant Purple Heron, one Red-wattled Lapwing, one White-throated Kingfisher and thousands of Openbills!