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Kit's Fledgling BY


Kitsafari
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Peter Connan

Some more stunning birds!

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Really nice picture of the Hobby.

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Like others have said: great series of the Oriental Hobby. It's even more beautiful than our European one.

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198: Rufous-Collared Kingfisher,  Krung Ching Waterfall HQ, June 15

 

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Native mainly in the Southeast Asian countries, the rufous-collared kingfisher is a near-threatened species. it is confined mainly in the forest, and on that basis, its future is pretty dim as deforestation in SEA is rapidly gathering pace. Unlike some of its kingfisher cousins, we had to walk into the thick of the jungle to look for it. 

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199: Brown-winged Kingfisher, Ao Phangan National Park, June 14DSC01215.JPG.50e2693207fb7144f575c12ae4d2a3c8.JPGDSC01230.JPG.9348b24928cf8ef1d5dc786188d43dea.JPGDSC01357.JPG.0bfc769b2082dc1bc2c7255bfdddaf4a.JPGDSC01511.JPG.85e9a60556f928a127e25302a79ecf6b.JPG

 

Also on the near-threatened list, the brown-winged kingfisher was incredibly accomodating in the Ao Phangan National Park despite the presence of eight photographers. there were two of the birds, but one remained, perched on a branch over a flowing river. it dived into the river a few times, successfully catching fishes of varying sizes at least five times. The brown-winged kingfisher can only be found in Langkawi in the whole of Malaysia, which made it a big disappointment when we couldn't find it there. But the species sure made up for it here. Although the species has a large range from East India down to SEA, its preference for the mangroves is not in its favour, given the swift destruction of mangroves along the coasts. 

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Both species of Kingfisher made excellent subjects for your photography.

What CAN you be going to use for due Cento?

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7 minutes ago, Galana said:

Both species of Kingfisher made excellent subjects for your photography.

What CAN you be going to use for due Cento?

 

 

Hahaaa  - working very hard on it at 2.30am over here!

 

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well my post on the 200th has just completely vanished. and I've to start again. sigh. it's a sign surely.

 

I was in a dilemma on the choice for the 200th, which I never thought I would reach when I first started the BY. do i choose a stunning bird with passable photos of it? or do i choose a rather ugly bird with crap photos but is very rare? I decided that the bird that lands on the critically endangered list should be given prominence in this list, so hence, I decided to go with for my 

 

200: Helmeted hornbill, Khao Sok National Park, June 154

 

a chick looks out for dad who is very very late

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dad finally arrives, bearing berries

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Dad regurgitates the berries one by one and feeds the chick and mum in the hole. he also takes out the poo and throws it out of the hole. 

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The Helmeted Hornbill landed on the critically endangered list because of severe hunting for its casque to meet unsatiated demand from consumers of ivory. Of all the hornbills, only the helmeted hornbill's casque is solid and is regarded as good as ivory for carving. In 2013, it was estimated that 6,000 of the hornbills were killed. In sumatra, where the bird was once in abundance, it has become all but impossible to see it. The female stays in the hole for five months! so if the male dies, the entire family dies with it. imagine the multiplier effect when one male is hunted. 

IUCN predicts that a severe decline may just wipe out the species over three generations.

although it doesn't have the most beautiful of faces, it is a magnificent bird with such a stunning tail and what looks like a streamer when it flies. 

So it's incredible that I got to see it in my lifetime. we were very lucky as one of the rangers in the park had seen a nesting, and we waited the entire day  on an uninhabited island under the hot sun for this amazing bird, and  it was just terrific to watch it feeding.

 

Edited by Kitsafari
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Well done on reaching 200, and what a superb sequence of photos to achieve it.

Congratulations.

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Congrats on reaching 200 with this very special bird. A bleak future, such a shame for a magnificent bird like that. Also enjoyed your Kingfisher shots, excellent stuff!

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Many congratulations on the double century and a good bird to do it with.

Sorry if you have lost some sleep to post it or are you still dog sitting?

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Fantastic bird for #200, congratulations! Previous photos shows how tough is photographing birds in tropics, and tougher even when it rains.

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@TonyQ, @PeterHG, Galana and Xelas thank you for the kind comments. 

 

@Galana it was indeed one of the dog-sitting night-ups. 

 

@xelas are you already back from south America? or in between locations? Oh I wouldn't want to be in middle of the thick rainforest in the night and in the rain! but yes, birding in the rainforest is incredibly hard. how do you see the tiny bird in the thick foliage, up in the skies while trying to dodge the thick roots and vines that all seem to want to trip you in slippery mud and sand? birding in Africa is a breeze in comparison.

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@Kitsafari...a woman on a mission!  Well done and a pleasure for us to see the results of your new found passion.

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On to my alternate 200...

 

201: Malayan Banded Pitta, (Pitta Irena), Krung Ching waterfalls, June 15

 

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for this rarity and near-threatened species, we trudged through thick jungle foliage, forego the calls of a blue banded kingfisher (which was on my  list to see while the pitta was not!), pitched up in a tiny tent in humid hot temperatures for hours. there was a bit of shifting of the dome tents and plenty of branches to camouflage the tents, and four hours into the wait, a stunning male banded pitta came hopping into view. as a reward it had plenty of mealworms to tuck into. he rewarded us in return with an hour's treat of watching him pushing twigs out of his way and feeding in the ground. he hopped and walked a lot, and winged short distances at low heights. this is a very challenging bird to see, but what a spectacular pitta it is. and the trudge through a rainforest and four hours of waiting? worth every second. 

in 2010 they split the banded pitta into the Malayan banded pitta, Borneon banded pitta and the Javan banded pitta. the destruction of forests and hunting for the caged bird trade puts the species at risk of rapid declines in numbers. The female is said to be equally spectacular (with white underparts and black bars) but is far shyer and cautious than the males.

 

here's a short video of it feeding

 

 

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Thank you much for the kind comment @marg !

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202: White-rumped Sharma, Si Phang Nga National Park, June 13

 

juvenile

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Adult maleDSC01599.JPG.c0a153c9b2f61bb22711abc7a2442121.JPG

 

Found in India, southern China and Southeast Asia, the sharma was once housed under the thrush family but since DNA checks, it is actually part of the flycatcher family. It dwells in forests and forest edges, and likes to forage on the ground for insects. Unfortunately, its melodious singing and lovely songs has made it a major victim of trade in the caged bird business.  I'm afraid a relative used to have one in his residence too but its singing was just beautiful. The sharma is also reputed to imitate cries of other birds. 

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203: Blyth's Paradise Flycatcher, Khao Sok National Park, June 13

 

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The Asian Paradise Flycatcher was split into three in 2015 - the Blyth's PF, the Amur and the Indian PFs. I was pretty conflicted for this sighting - initially the tents were too close to the nest which was perched on a delicate bush that consisted only of a few branches. and then our views were blocked by a couple of twigs and the ranger was set on pulling the twig off the bush, putting him at the nest itself and potentially dislodging the nest. I yelled a few times to him to leave it alone ( I was the only one) but he persisted. and i thought I couldn't stomp off in a forest (we had walked about 40 mins into the forest) where I could get lost. so i gave up my conscience and was lost in the moments when the parents finally felt comfortable enough to feed the two chicks, which had not fledged yet. The male flycatcher comes in two morphs - the brown and the white. It apparently morphs into the white when it is fully mature after five years old  The male brown has a stronger crest than the female. I was pretty chaffed to see it, even if my conscience was not entirely clear. this species is found in southern China and Southeast Asia. a rare male one can be occasionally seen in Singapore. 

 

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Peter Connan

Stunning birds in these last two batches. 5 months! Wow, that's a long time. Amazing bird to reach the 200 on!

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That’s an incredible set of new birds! Apologies if I missed it in an earlier post but was this part of a specific birding tour? 

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What a splendid set of additions. I can see the difficulty of selecting the most stunning for your 200 and am glad I did not have to make that choice.

That Pitta would almost have me looking up air fares today. A real stunna!

Interesting about those recent splits. I suppose it keeps the book publishers busy and the list chasers* poor.

* Is there are name for that sort of birder?

You mention "tents"? Are these mobile hides/shelters or are you really camping out?

6 hours ago, Kitsafari said:

 birding in Africa is a breeze in comparison.

Only if you don't go silly and try seeking out the forest birds of west and central. Congo Peacock anyone?

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In between week 3 and week 4. The alternate #200 is a stunner and well worth sweating in the humid tent for 4 hrs. Although I would probably left after qst hour :wacko:.

Africa from inside the campsites and from the car, @Galana. With Michael we already walked way too much :o.

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Thanks @Peter Connan!

 

@Galana thank you. i shouldn't have referred to them as tents. you are right, they were mobile hides and very neat and light when folded up! err not sure if my adventurous spirit would be so daring as to embrace an overnight stay in the middle of the jungle. 

If you think the banded pitta is worth a trip, you should see what the banded kingfisher - both male and female - looks like! it was a huge disappointment when I learned the chick had fledged and we had missed an opportunity to see the kingfishers. 

 

@xelas hope you are enjoying the trip!

 

@lmSA84 I was on a southern thailand birding trip organised by a fellow Singaporean. It was very affordable as we were driving from park to park (arriving in Phuket) and we stayed in really cheap accommodation (like US$15 a night) but these were long drives (3-4 hours) and accommodation was simple, basic and small but clean and acceptable. 

 

 

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The flycatcher ends my count of new species seen in Southern Thailand. The birder in our group counted 74 species - seen and heard - during our 4-day trip. I probably saw a only third of what he saw, and was too slow to take pictures of many of them. :(

Still I was very pleased with what we saw but I've also learned how hard it is to find birds on your own in the mighty jungle. 

 

I am amazed that I've hit the two centuries but i believe that the 3rd century is out of reach since I'm unable to go on any more birding trips, not until my dog's situation is resolved. I'll have to rely only on local numbers so hopefully the migratory birds will be in full swing and that I'll be able to capture a number of them. 

 

Meanwhile, here are some repeats of species already counted that I saw in Thailand: 

 

scaly-breasted munia

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Greater green leafbird

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Pacific swallow

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Common myna

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Orange-bellied Flowerpecker

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