The 500 Club

This, it appears, is my 500th post. Who’d have thunk it? I suppose I ought to celebrate. And what do you have when you throw a party? Why, bunting of course. And here it is. Crested Bunting, Emberiza Lathami.

Crested Bunting is described in The Avifauna as once a common resident, now rare. The Avifauna speculates on the cause(s) of the decline in numbers and says that it appears to have been associated with rice fields. Rice cultivation disappeared in HK but is now back on a small scale at Long Valley. Perhaps not surprisingly then the Crested Bunting has started to put in an appearance again.

Last time it was around I was for some reason unable to go and photograph it. I was heartened therefore at the weekend when it was again reported from Long Valley.  I did not set out this morning to try my luck with it but the light at Nam Sang Wai was murky so I changed venue and in the company of John Holmes I decamped to LV. There must be some deep cultural reason why LV means handbags to my wife and buntings to me. It did not take long to see the target bird and over the course of the next few hours I had three reasonable chances to take shots. The problem was the sheer number of people, who wanted to do the same. I was fortunate that it landed close to me whilst I was killing time photographing a Dusky Warbler. I rapidly switched my attention whilst the football crowd of avia-snapperazzi were surrounding a patch of rice stubble. Presumably they thought the bird was in there somewhere. I was tempted to shout out “it’s behind you!” but I resisted. No panto please, we’re birders.

The light still was not good and my pictures lack that special glow that lifts and separates the excellent from the average. The Playtex shot, I should call it. But here they are anyway, three bunting images. As far as I can tell, this is a female.

Crested Bunting 3 Crested Bunting 2 Crested Bunting


Now tomorrow, as a reward for 500 posts, I am going to pick up a new camera body. I shall hopefully be the owner of a rather swish Canon 1Dx. And a lot poorer. But if it gets me better images than these it will be money well spent. Thank you to those of you who have travelled so far with me. If you were there at the outset I am amazed and grateful beyond words. Until 501.

21 thoughts on “The 500 Club

  1. Yes we should definately put the flags out, congratulations on your first 500 !
    Particularly like the last shot.
    I wish I could go out and get a new body, unfortunately the NHS only do parts .

  2. Congratulations on hitting 500, Andrew. Unfortunately I was not present at number one, but since joining the coterie the pleasure of your posts has always been an anticipation which is always rewarded handsomely.
    Personally, I would be pleased with these. Maybe not golden light, but the poses are all joyous and nothing to be sniffed at….or about. I am sure you will be quite pleased with the new 1Dx based on reviews, reports and images.

  3. That guy has a punk haircut that’s for sure.

    “The creaking rail is heard, but never seen,
    Now here, now there, the standing corn among ;
    The bunting sits on the surrounding fence,
    And chirps, at intervals, its easy song.”
    — David Allan, aka “The Scots Hogarth,” from “The Gentle Shepherd,” 1809

  4. Number three is the best pose. You’ve had a good 500. I’ve been “following” you since, I think, Oct. 2012. Keep up the good work and may you have tremendous success with the new Canon 1 Dx.

  5. 500 and counting! Congratulations. Many may be able to say they have 500 posts, but few can say they have 500 excellent posts like yours. I shall look up Canon 1DX and find out just what you are getting. I hope it gives you great pleasure and inspires you to keep posting.
    I like the soft background i #1, but agree with Yvonne the pose in #3 is very nice – also the colours of the plumage in #3 make a very fine image.

  6. Happy 500th birthday methuselah. Very clever looking bird. It must be a female. It’s the way she looks about as if waiting for a handsome (and reliable) boy to fly by and acknowledge her.

  7. Magnificent – 500 posts! I’m looking forward to the next 500 🙂 I’m glad you’ve bought out the bunting, I’ve never seen bunting like this before, beautiful, the hairstyle is reminiscent of my youth 😉 Happy days with your new camera body, Andrew, and may you take many excellent pictures with it.

  8. Wow! 500th Congratulation! Its my first time viewing your post on the net but I have seen many of your beautiful birdies at LV. I love all your images and interesting postings. Look forward to seeing the other 500. Cheers!

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