Monday, 3 October 2011

One Frame Wonder

Asian Brown Flycatcher 

As I write it is pouring down and this makes me excited about what birds the rain might force down locally. More shall be revealed tomorrow, I hope. I am on holiday for the next two weeks and so I was able to head out to Huay Mai Teng Reservoir this afternoon to see what the raptor count today would be. Well today's count was much more modest, 18 birds, five of which were too far away to be identified. Eleven of the remaining birds I identified as Oriental Honey Buzzards. The other two I couldn't identify but they were small.

The weather was different today with virtually no wind and it may have been that the bulk of the passage was over by the time I got to the reservoir just after 1500h; there were no birds after 1630h and there was no evidence of birds coming down to roost for the night. I am going to treat myself to the entire day at the reservoir tomorrow and we'll see what happens.

The highlight today was a best count of about 650 Oriental Pratincoles, most of which were sat on brown gravel. This background and the prevailing gloom made photography virtually impossible. It was an amazing sight reminiscent of looking at the vast numbers of Sand-plovers that settle down on dry salt pans at Laem Pak Bia. There were also good numbers of Green Sandpipers. I was also pleased to finally get a shot of a flycatcher for the first time this season. In fact I was lucky because it showed for 5 seconds and I managed to get on it. Let me express thanks to Dave Gandy and Tom Backlund for their help in identifying this bird. I wasn't confident  calling it Asian Brown and didn't want another mistaken identity.

Other species noted were a Pied Kingfisher and a Yellow Wagtail.  The Blossom-headed Parakeets came in as if by appointment at 1730h and this time I was able to make out a female, greyish head and no black collar, in the small flock.

I shot a mere 18 frames today, six of which were of a dragonfly and even before I started I knew the shots were unlikely to be any good due to poor light. I took one shot of the flycatcher and it was gone. I tried to shoot a Green Sandpiper but the light was against me. So one frame for the day is good enough for me.

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