Sunday, 24 July 2011

Black-winged Stilts

The Black-winged Stilt is one of the most common birds in the locale. It is ubiquitous....rice paddy, reservoir, mudflats, aquaculture. Sometimes it is easy to overlook it as it is all too common. Today, there was bright sun and blue sky at lunch time so I headed back to Wat Khao Takrao in the hope of shooting the Great Thick Knee I observed yesterday. Alas it was nowhere to be seen. Neither were there great numbers of Painted Storks, just a handful. So I took the opportunity of getting close to some Black-winged Stilts to see how the histogram might assist. I think it did. By my standards these are decent shots and in particular I like the way the shots really show the birds' key feature - their pink stilts whose length, in comparison with the rest of their body, is often unappreciated as usually they are submerged in murky water.

The stilts are usually very noisy, real screechers, and generally don't like you getting too close. Alongside  Red-wattled Lapwing they seem to act as sentinels for other birds and their screech acts as an alarm bell. I lurked behind some bushes which gave me enough cover and enable me to take some shots.

I shot the Little Heron while waiting hopefully for the Great Thick Knee: it was a good distance away so it is not the clearest shot I have ever taken. I was enjoying watching the Blue-tailed Bee-eater hunting from its perch. It must have incredible eyesight because it shot up a tree and plucked some unsuspecting insect, perhaps a dragonfly, and brought it back to its perch where he scoffed it. I was aware of Pheasant-tailed and Bronze-winged Jacanas in the pond but due to the height of the vegetation it was impossible to view them other than as they flew in through the air.

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