Back to the birds

Well yesterday’s stock rant went down a storm – not. I do warn you that this is about ‘anything that comes to mind’. I did have a piece half written about Sandy Hook but I decided to scrap it. Emotions are too raw and I probably am not well enough qualified to write on it. I explored a few discussions without participating but they were scary in their tone. One in particular basically said if you aren’t a US citizen living in the US then butt out. So I did.

This morning I went out to my local patch but returned early. Too busy. Nowhere to escape from the crowds. And the light was awful. I arrived back home, packed up the kit and immediately saw a Black-winged cuckoo-shrike in the garden…… close! Too late. This was my second sighting in 2 weeks. Maybe it will hang around.

After lunch I had a lot of work to do but I set up the camera just in case. In a relaxation break, which seemed to last rather longer than I intended, the Cuckoo-shrike suddenly reappeared but was instantly spooked by a dog walker. I was livid. But as consolation a few Scarlet minivets landed and paused briefly. Bingo!

Scarlet-minivet-F Scarlet-minivet-F2

Now you may be wondering why Scarlet minivets are grey and yellow and not scarlet. Well you haven’t been paying attention have you. The males are scarlet and the females are yellow. But the chaps get naming rights. Remember this one? This is the male.


I also saw Hwamei in the garden – the first time for ages. No photos. Much too dark. The light was better yesterday when I observed a Red-whiskered bulbul shouting at an intruder. Get off my branch!!!


The message was well received and the intruder flew off. There was also a lot of noise from the Crested mynas. They trend to perch prominently and let rip. Here is one in action:


I’m the King of the Castle, You’re the dirty Rascal…….

But the real king of the castle came over when all I had was my 400mm F5.6 on a full frame body. Thank goodness it has a 7′ wingspan. Ladies & Gentlemen, I give you, the White-bellied Sea-eagle.


Ah, the joys of photography – a black and white bird against a washed out sky, directly overhead. Now this is one I really would like to get perched in the garden. And then the Red-whiskered bulbul would have something substantial to shout about. Me, I’m going to start packing tomorrow. Friday is D Day – departure for Doha en route to the frozen wastes of Antarctica. I may be gone some time.

8 thoughts on “Back to the birds

  1. I hope you do as well in the frizen south as you do in your garden, Andrew. It certainly attracts an great variety of lovely avians. The White-bellied Sea Eagle would make an excellent addition to the garden crowd although the population might diminish just a mite.
    The discussions of tragedies are not pleasant places to be and, if you ask me, many of the human traits that lead to such things are on display within said discussions. So I stay away….nothing I have to say will change the strong feelings on either side.

  2. Andrew, I would call that a lucky day. Even if you missed the which ever bird. You gotta leave that camera in place. Leave on a tripod and cover with a cloth (keeps out dust.) Anyhoo- the blue-gray or blue and yellow bird in my opinion is prettier than the male. The color and the pattern of colors is fantastic. (I’ve over-used wonderful- need to come up with better words). D-day is looming in the very near future and I will miss your post. Too bad you can not send pics per computer as Lottie has been doing. But I imagine you are looking forward to not needing to come up with a post and that you and Mrs. Ha will very much enjoy yourselves. However, you gotta get that perfect penguin pic for your MD’s office wall/s.

    • Thank you Alessandro – I still have a backlog of other blogs to read before I go but after tomorrow it will be a long break. Have a very good Christmas, wherever your travels take you.

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