Not quite. On the rocks in fact. I remember this bird extremely well. I photographed it in December 2005 in an area I used to check regularly. It is called Ho Chung. There is a small stream that flows alongside a path and sometimes I would find birds drinking or bathing there. On this particular day a flash of blue alerted me to this Verditer flycatcher, Eumyias thalassina. It is not a rare bird but neither is it one to be found on every bush. Its official status is scarce winter visitor. We have had a couple in the garden but it always cheers me up when I find one. They are not particularly approachable in my experience. This one however was different.
I was using a 500mm lens on my Canon 1D2 and I set the tripod up with a view to approaching gradually and with hope for better frame fillers as I did so. The VF had a very different plan of campaign. It charged me. I exaggerate (again). But indeed it went on the attack, hopping ever closer. From rock to rock. Pausing perhaps to take an invisible insect somewhere, but advancing nonetheless. Until I suddenly realised it was too close for me to focus on. I had to retreat. I don’t recall how long this lasted but certainly a good twenty minutes until the VF became bored and flitted off.
And here is the bird in all its glory.
What a dreamy bird. Nice soft evening light, a catchlight in the eye and still as a HK traffic jam. And that was going to be it. But as I typed the last sentence a Laughingthrush popped up in the hedge opposite my study, where I sit to bang out these blogposts.
The trusty SX50 HS was whipped out and here we are, handheld at 1200mm, not quite the same quality I fear, but a passable record shot. I must ask Bob Thompson how he gets such sharp images with his.
Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush, Garrulax pectoralis. Widespread but scarce resident population of captive origin.
That’s all folks.