Thursday, 17 November 2011
Perfection in the Paddy
Circumstances right now, work and its demands on my time, in particular, are against me in terms of birding. Sad because the weather and light are perfect. Yesterday evening I made it into the local rice paddy in Ratchaburi for about 30 beautiful minutes, the remains of the day draped in deep, rich setting sun contrasting a blue sky adding to the intensity of the rich, green rice plants stretching out in all directions to the horizon. I was rewarded by the show put on just above the rice by a pair of Pied Harriers, a male and female, cavorting, in fact revelling in this splendid setting, swooping up and down and then towards each other and then away. I didn't bother trying to photograph this scene: too much movement and not enough light combined with the birds just being a tad too far away to take a usable picture. I simply observed it through my telescope. A perfect scenario, good for the soul. I have to say not photographing means I am looking much more closely at the birds and in consequence seeing a lot more. I think my identification skills and development have suffered as I have been too focused on photography these last few months: these last few days have been a good reminder of the need to spend more time observing. Three distant ducks flew past: these were most certainly not the common Lesser Whistling species but definitely something else, I wonder what. Sadly just not enough time for birding right now; even here in Thailand, relatively close to the equator the length of daylight changes; after December's winter solstice daylight will start to lengthen here and as it extends we'll get about a critical extra hour of light.