Monday, 19 December 2011

Another Magical Local Hour

Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker
Dendrocopos macei
Ratchaburi 19.12.11

It's always nice to add a new tick to the patch and tonight in the final light of the day two Fulvous-breasted Woodpeckers obliged for me in Ratchaburi's rice paddy. Sunset was at 1759h, these shots were taken at 1748h. I was fortunate to notice the birds on a large wooden stake as I drove home.  The birds were good enough to let me get reasonably close which always means a better image.  I was already very happy as I had just seen our solitary Grey-headed Lapwing and prior to that I had been able to get a reasonable image of a Pied Harrier on terra firma. Plus the female Pied and a male and female Eastern Marsh Harrier were also harrying. 

Pied Harrier
Circus melanoleucos
Ratchaburi 19.12.11

The Pied image really is a showcase for digiscoping. This is no front cover shot but the bird was about 400 - 500  metres away and if you look closely you can see his black iris. It's also cropped but not a bad result. Note that the rice has been harvested and indeed this is ongoing; next thousands of domestic ducks will be let loose on it to eat any residue, then over the next six weeks it will be burned,  ploughed, flooded, churned and new rice planted. Back-breaking work under strong sun.

My harrier flight shots continue to improve too and I expect to post a decent flight shot sometime in the near future. With this year's Winter Solstice due on 22nd December the days will then start to lengthen, just a little, with maybe a gain of an extra hour of daylight over the next few months - this should mean the light at about 17:30h will be strong and all round much better photography conditions.

So another magical, effortless hour in the local rice paddy. I want to get closer to that Pied Harrier!

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