BAD frustration

I spent an entire morning at Long Valley and came away empty handed. I saw some decent enough birds but nothing that wanted to be photographed. The light was not good and I spent almost two hours crouched under a tree hiding from a bird that seemed to thumb its nose at me. “I can see you!” it might have cried. It stayed always just out of the line of sight. Decent enough views with binoculars but frustrating with the lens.

An Eastern Buzzard perched nicely on the obligatory LV wire but not good enough to make the BAD cut. I added a couple of decent documentary shots to my Stejneger’s Stonechat collection. On is a shot of the bird feeding – but a very ugly environment. Not worthy.

So can I find anything photographed today to keep my audience happy? Well Steve Gingold, the wise and insightful guru from a state in the USA that I can’t spell, pointed out sagaciously that I was going to post a bird and not necessarily photograph a bird a day – the archives can be plundered when needed. What a fine chap Mr. G is.

However I decided that I would not sink so low on day 7. Gosh, a week has gone by already. So today it is comedy time. Just after 8.30am I heard what I would describe as a very loud, flutey and perhaps even fruity call. Somewhat bemused I looked around and suddenly spotted this chap:

Palm Cockatoo

Probosciger aterrimus or the Palm Cockatoo. Somewhat adrift from its natural homing grounds of New Guinea and the Cape York peninsula. I shall probably offend some people (not difficult) by saying it reminds me of an Italian army officer. Is it not they who have or had the plumed helmets?  Or perhaps it was the French. Ooooh la la!! A pantomime bird if ever I saw one. Not to be taken seriously. A close peek will reveal of course the ring around the ankle. However this clown has slipped its chains and flown the barracks. It grows to 65cm and can weigh up to 1kg. Not really one to be argued with. Fancy being nipped by that bill? At least it has the decency to blush at its own dandified appearance. Haircuts like that went out with the 1980s. A sort of David Bowie mullet but without the chic androgyny of Ziggy Stardust. Closer I fear to one of the spiders from Mars.

And there I shall leave it for today. My first and hopefully last encounter with the flying mullet, whether French, Italian or Martian.



11 thoughts on “BAD frustration

  1. I just looked quickly on Wikipedia and the Palm Cockatoo is also known as Goliath Cockatoo. Little wonder given how large it can become (it sounds like a heavyweight amongst its peers weighing in at 1kg)!

  2. Now that is one ugly bird. Nice photo though. Had not idea a bird could be as ugly as a vulture and then one even has the Turkey Vulture beat. As they say, tomorrow is another day. There will be bigger or better birds to fry, I mean photograph.

  3. I like this guy – he is so comical he is beautiful. It almost looks like he is wearing dark shades. The quote “that’s no banana, that’s my nose” came to mind. Really enjoying these BAD boys and girls.

  4. Ziggy passes into the realm of the Disco King. Just don’t let me know, Andrew, that we’re invisible.

    Are there as many kinds of birds as (there are) days in the year? Does one Shrike represent the entire race?

  5. Regardless of the misplaced setting and the ring that cockatoo is magnificent! I wish I had seen it. Love the idea of BAD, Andrew. a Beijing-based birder did it in China a couple of years ago. Its also worth bearing in mind that the record for seeing (let alone photographing) birds in HK in a year is 350 by uber twitcher Graham Talbot. The Brambling, the Chiffchaff (a magnificent bird too imho) and the other winter visitors are just not going to be around in June and July so its worth grabbing them while they’re on offer for bringing out of cold storage when all that’s about are bulbuls and white-eyes. The obvious solution is to “go foreign” and include some wonders from afar in the list.
    Accusations of taking this all too seriously accepted without apology.

    • I couldn’t find the Brambling yesterday Mike. I may try the chiffy again tomorrow. But I just don’t twitch and I am not trying to see 365 birds in HK in a year. I don’t have the time or energy. I may do some birds more than once and certainly a few foreign birds will creep in. It’s just for fun. I will of course count the Palm Cockatoo and I’m still hoping one of my 3 picks for the first ‘new for HK’ will appear. Wallcreeper on the side of The old BOC building or in Karen & Ruy’s garden is my hot, hot tip. You heard it here first. More realistically Brown-eared Bulbul. Loads of them on Jeju. If Varied Tit can get here so can BEB.

  6. I really do take my chapeau off to you, boy you’ve got some patience Mister. I’m not sure I could hang about for two hours waiting for a bird to present itself. I’m full of admiration! as for this Palm Cockatoo fella, he’s a splendid chap – probably one of the most ridiculous looking birds that I’ve ever seen, but there’s something very love-able about him. I wonder where he came from? You should have tried to catch him, I bet theres a reward out for his safe return!

    • There is a fear that he will be kidnapped, Lottie (or should that be Cockatoo-napped?).

      These birds are valuable. There was an escaped Peacock recently and it seems the phantom Peacock-napper of Old Hong Kong was after him PDQ. I wonder what Lulu would be worth at ransom. Or Colin Snout?

  7. Sink so low??????? Criminy! Now I feel I must delete several recent Facebook posts. 🙄
    I know this guy gets to hang out in warm homes and get fed gourmet biscuits even if I am not sure about the Crested Myna.
    I am not sure about Italian French soldiers or even Marvin the Martian, but all the movies I have seen show the Roman warriors with headdresses similar to this mullet. Movies are always historically correct…correct? 🙂

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