I plead guilty. I fell behind. All sorts of things interfered with the best laid plans. If I were rather more au fait with software and laptops I might have done better. Anyway, I photographed two birds for you today. I shall hold Chinese Thrush over until tomorrow and offer you today the staggeringly popular (in HK) Blyth’s Reed Warbler or Acrocephalus dumetorum as it is less commonly known. I was told that it is so popular because all previous HK records have been mist net ticks. I have no idea whether this is correct but it sounds plausible.
When I was a young lad starting out in birding…..oooh, must be 20 years ago now, I was told that BRW is like a rather grey version of Reed Warbler. Lars Jonsson is rude enough to describe it as Markedly colourless. He does say first winter birds have a warmer tone. He also says it has a sullen face. I get the feeling the BRW has done something to upset Lars. It has also offended the editors of HBW Alive who insist its plumage is drab and cold.
My observations today suggest that the light plays a big role in assessing colour since I have images that make this bird look quite rich toned. The BRW in question has been occupying The Chinese Garden in Shatin Park for a while and is a remarkably friendly bird. Completely unfazed even when it met blog reader Mike Kilburn. It is about 2 minutes walk from a huge shopping mall, a mass transit railway station and about 1 minute from the local Marriage Registry. One bride was having her pics taken in the garden this afternoon and we tried to interest her in the the warbler but she seemed surprisingly indifferent. I think she may have been reading Lars’ book.
So, drum roll, here are a few shots of Blyth’s Reed Warbler. It rarely goes open kimono and it took me about 3 hours to get 4 or 5 decent shots. I do not regard a bird sitting on a paving slab as an acceptable shot.
Vaguely cold toned in number one. Quite neutral in number two? And again in number 3. (I like this one). Number 4 is not really cold, is it? You won’t find it in the field guides but BRW has springs in its legs.And finally, how do you call this grey, cold or colourless? Its a rich warm brown. And that is it for today. I hope you forgive the short interlude and that you enjoyed the ‘hold’ music.