Monday, 15 October 2012

Blue Rock-thrush

Blue Rockthrush
Monticola solitarius
Koh Kood, Trat Province

I had a gentle late afternoon paddle out into the bay facing our resort in Koh Kood this afternoon aiming to alight on some rocks where the bay opens out into The Gulf Of Thailand. Into the dry bag went my scope and camera and I left the tripod out in the open. I was hoping to sneak a shot of a Pacific Reef Egret, specifically the dark morph variant; one of the coolest looking birds, in my humble opinion! I managed to get to my intended target and haul the kayak onto the rocks. In doing so I managed to flush the egrets, though I had no idea they were there! However, undeterred,  I got set up and resolved to prefocus on a rock spur just in case.....and 10 minutes later as the sun was setting a pair of these rockthrushes appeared and one parked on the spur. The light was just against me; this was shot at 320 ISO and at a lowish shutter speed (1/20 sec ) but the shot serves its purpose as a good record. I am intrigued about whether this is the philippensis subspecies on account of the chestnut undertail coverts. It is by no means an uncommon bird but it was not what I was expecting to see out here today. But what do I know?! The guidebook, (Lekagul & Round, A Guide to the Birds of Thailand ) includes under its  habitat:"rocky seacoast". Nice to see the birds behaving properly! 

Finally a shot of a fishing boat. God alone knows what ecological meltdown this type of fishing is causing.

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