Wednesday 11 January 2012

Botanical Gardens + Garbage Dump

Two locations that are complete opposites of one another!

Yesterday afternoon after my classes had finished I made my way to the Botanical Gardens to see some passerines that others had written about. The promise was that they are reliably seen between 6 and 7 pm when they bath in one of the small artificial waterfalls.

While on my pilgrimage to the waterfall I came across this Oriental Magpie-Robin singing from a bush:

It was so tame that I was able to stick my hand into the bush and take this photo no more than 72 cm from the center of the birds eye.

This Common Kingfisher was friendly enough to allow a few photographers take plenty of photos:

It's so weird seeing these guys in the middle of a jungle when I remember them from Denmark flying around leafless trees!

In the park I ran into a few bird photographers lying low staring into some thick bushes. After a few minutes of standing around I asked them what they were looking for and confirmed my suspicions that they were after a Pitta. A Hooded Pitta to be exact.

Pitta's are notorious for being extremely elusive and hard to find so I was more than happy to know that one was nearby. Eventually one of the others found the bird skulking deep in the undergrowth. I managed to see it for about 5 seconds - enough to see the shape and size of the bird and the green on its back and the red cap.

They're one of the more sought after groups of birds in the world. In fact some guy wasted a year chasing these wankfaces trying to see the more than 30 species in a Pitta Big Year - I can't seem to find the link for this now though... (edit: Someone gave me a tip - see this article).

Hooded Pitta by Tiomanese :

I eventually made it to the sacred waterfall and paid my dues by idling around from 6:12 to 7 pm. My prayers were not rewarded - perhaps a punishment for arriving 12 minutes late... Although the Pitta more than made up for that loss.
I'll be back oh-holy-waterfall and thou shall reveal thy birds!

This Banded Woodpecker was sporting a neat hair-style:

Today was an entirely different story. I wanted to see some more shorebirds so I went to Madai mudflats where others had seen 3 species I have never seen this past weekend. I was advised to go during low tide - a quick check online to see that low tide was at 6:37pm today. I was on location at 4pm to much disappointment - no mudflats let alone any shorebirds. Perhaps I really should have arrived for low tide precisely...

I wasn't feeling eager to wait 2 hours for some shorebirds to arrive mostly because I was in a pretty sketchy area.

Note the guard dog + the garbage and creepy statue thing in the background:

Creepy guy in chair + tons of garbage everywhere:

I was quick to get out of there and decided to wander around a bit - this closed-down prison made me head for home and security:

For the most part birding will bring you to some amazing places but there are always some exceptions!

Don't forget about that Bird Song Quiz below if you're from NAmerica!