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squeaky shoes popular with tiny birds everywhere

2015-11-17 - 5:58 p.m.

Nov. 10, 2015

There's a rumor that the peace & quiet of the evening may be shortly interrupted by a cultural program so if I end this entry at an odd moment, you'll know why.

I got up early to do some birding around the nearby trails. The Longtail Minivet male was back, and this time I saw the female Blue-fronted Redstart on the same tree where I saw her male the day before. I took a walk down a path which produced some new lifers like Grey-headed Bush Warbler (I had help IDing that turkey from the local) & Streaked Laughing Thrush. But the real treat of the morning was the male Crimson-breasted Woodpecker who flew in and seemed quite curious about me. From time to time, he would go back to working a nearby tree, but then he would come back and circle me slowly again. A magical moment...

The overall raptor count was low, but we had several more magical moments, if I can bullet point them before the singing starts...

  • Cute scene of a Himalayan Buzzard being teased by a Black Kite
  • An adult Himalayan Vulture almost landed on us, giving fantastic views of a bird that seemed almost close enough to touch
  • Our tireless friend the dark morph Booted Eagle who kept circling around to inflate the count attracted a mob of heckling Jungle Crows
  • Great view of an eye level Red-headed Vulture with a crammed full crop
  • Really any number of up close Himalayan Vultures right on top of us, most of us the younger birds...
  • A beautiful juvenile Steppe Eagle spinning around us
  • A splendid pair of Bonelli's Eagles -- these birds did their good deed of the day because while I was up watching them, the Jungle Crows came and pooped on my chair, would've hated to be sitting under that

There really wasn't a huge migration though. After awhile we called it off, and I went hiking on a few of the trails in search of non raptor specialties.

Some quick highlights:

  • Male & female fire-tailed Sunbird about where3 the local had told me he'd seen them the day before, the male was truly mind blowing
  • A magical moment with a pair of clearly together White-crested Laughingthrushes
  • Finally many good looks at the omni present Black Bulbul
  • The splendid Common Green Magpie
  • At one point I was overwhelmed with a huge mixed species flock of little birds, so many that were so beautiful and so many that were so unremarkable that I couldn't figure them out in my head. All I could do was sit and stare at the spectacle. But I did pick out and identify an upclose Black-faced Warbler.
  • I feel a bit guilty for disturbing a large flock of Speckled Wood Pigeons that were probably settling in for the night. On the same path, I encountered another mixed species group of tiny guys like Black-throated Tit. As I wrestled with more anonymously colored tinies, I did manage to identify a Lemon Rumped Warbler.

The singing has begun & I suspect I'm supposed to pretend to care. More spectacular bird reporting later!

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