Saturday, 12 November 2011

Thick-billed Warbler

Streak-eared Bulbul

I have finally shaken off the trots I am happy to report which means I was able to go out birding for a few hours in the local rice paddy this afternoon in Ratchaburi. A frustrating sort of afternoon as the light was really poor so no decent shots. Pity because the weather, especially the light, has been good all week with lots of decent sunshine. Not today!

On arrival lots of Common Snipe in their usual spot. I decided to seek out raptors and the Thick-billed Warbler. So I took a walk along the side of the railway and stumbled upon a male Pied Harrier at a good distance, too far away for photographing but a feast for the eyes as he lorded it up: "fit for purpose" sprung to my mind. He didn't hang around for long. Good however to note his continued presence in the rice paddy.

I then sat out in a small sala, in effect a DIY sun shade, but nothing of interest came out or appeared. A male Pied Harrier flew in briefly but headed off  almost immediately. I then managed to sight a pair of distant Greater Racket-tailed Drongos; not very common in this area. All the usual suspects. I decided to head back to the car after a pretty fruitless 90 minutes.

As I was walking back along the side of the railway a small brown bird flew into the foliage on the railway embankment. I managed to pick it up in my bins from the movement of the foliage and I got enough of a view to be able to say it was a Thick-billed Warbler. Head above the bill all dark, throat buffer than the rest of the breast, bill distinct, I would say the  upper mandible is very broad. However a real skulker and not a perfoprmer, a very different looking bird from the Oriental Reed Warbler. Nearby I could hear the distinct tak tak tak call of another Thick-billed. So a lifer, no less and one to be pleased about. I wouldn't be calling this one had I not asked for help with a difficult Oriental Reed Warbler ID last week. That got me looking at the field guides and listening to sound recordings of its call so when the bird did show I knew what I was looking for.

A good day! In fact it was a really great day because I have sourced a replacement Nikon P6000. Maybe will have it in about 10 days or so as it in the US of A.

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