Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Eared Pitta

Pittas sure are exciting birds. Every so difficult to find outside of breeding season but always incredibly rewarding once found. I have birded in Thailand for many years but still can count on one hand's fingers the number of times I have seen Eared Pitta.
So it was with joy I accepted this opportunity to view the bird from a carefully set up blind. It so happened to be the very last day before the chicks left with their mom so I really managed in the 'nick of time'.
The bird perched and called the chicks from a perch some 6-7 meter up for a little over an hour before it went on the ground and slowly approached the nest. I don't know why it had such an incredibly slow approach and I don't think it was aware of my presence. When ever any other birds would come near the Pitta likewise would stop showing. It seemed on high alert until it finally decided to feed and then would come every 5-10 minutes. After 20 minutes of feeding I left the blind. Conditions were very hard for photography and these shots are the only decent ones I managed.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Wet season breeding visitor!

Most folks visiting Thailand don't get to see Blue-winged Pitta for the simple reason that it is a wet season visitor. A few individuals may stay over winter in the South but no where else. Then in late April/May they start coming in from their wintering grounds in primarily Indonesia. In June they breed and in suitable habitat are quite easy to see.

This particular individual was fed worms regularly at the garden of a local bird photographer near Khao Yai. The bird had a nest up the hill but worms strategically placed would overcome its fear and it put on a splendid show.

On the day I visited it showed just about every 10 minutes. The chicks must have been quite big to receive all that food!

I was able to take pictures for a long time and to experiment with different settings. Great fun!