After an enjoyable morning at LNEC yesterday I was there 2 hours earlier today in the hope of finding some early birds. I need not have bothered. The dull conditions were not conducive to photography and the early birds had seemingly already got the worm and gone back to bed. A few other photographers were wandering disconsolately around but none had been daft enough to bring an 800mm lens. Except me. Heav-y!
A principle I follow a lot is to pick a spot and wait for the birds to come to me. Well it did not work today. I observed some interesting behaviour by a Tailorbird though. The chap clearly wanted a morning bath. In the absence of anything better the bird simply started rolling itself on a banana leaf that still retained some early morning moisture. Hardly a bird bath but better than nothing and fascinating to watch.
A thrush teased me by showing briefly but then ducking out of sight never to reappear. All I saw was some brick orange underparts. I would guess Brown thrush but it would never make any list. Too brief a glimpse. The Olive-backed pipits did show reasonably well but the images lack any nice lighting or soft background to make them worth preserving.
A wander around left me somewhat hacked off so I walked back to a small hillside where there are some benches. I plonked myself down and oooooh? What’s that? More ah than oooh as it turned out – Asian Brown Flycatcher. Not terribly exciting. And then a flash of blue over my head and suddenly I am grabbing the camera and desperately hoping the bird is going to show well. A truly radiant Verditer flycatcher, Eumyias thalassina. Electric blue. Oh yes! This is more like it.
Here is the full frame and then a crop to show it off a little better:
Just as I was settling down again a Black-naped monarch shot into the tree but deeper in. Not photographable even though I could see it through my binoculars. A female. Always obscured by branches it hardly stayed two minutes before flying away towards the car park. My final bird was a Blyth’s Leaf Warbler, Phylloscopus reguloides. So not bad as it turned out. If I had followed by 10 o’clock urge to head off for a coffee I would have missed all three flycatchers and that would not have been good.
Just for fun, here is the supporting cast:
Asian Brown Flycatcher, Muscicapa dauurica
The bathing beauty, Common Tailorbird, Orthotomus sutorius
And a brace of OBP shots to finish. Anthus hodgsoni.
That’s the lot for today. I wish you all a very good weekend.