Sunday, February 22, 2015

White-browed Fantail

 Just a couple of days ago I received my new yearly visa. It is always so much paper work and one just never know what will be required. I was very relieved when it all came through, meaning, Thailand has to put up with me for another year!

So, to celebrate I decided to do a 2nd try for the White-browed Fantail at Sapsadao. This is a very difficult bird in Thailand and though present in fragmented areas of dry dipterocarp forest, apparently best seen at Sapsadao.

I had dipped on my 1st attempt. Got to the site in the late afternoon after an almost 5 hour drive (traffic runs slow over the forested mountains that leads into the NorthEast). Lots of birds were showing but not the Fantail.

Spent the night in a small hotel by the main road warding off the charming little ladies frequenting the neighbourhood.

All morning in potential habitat but NO bird! Well, I decided to go for lunch and on the way out simply sat in the car while recording some bird songs and hoping for a picture or two.

I normally don't rely too much on playback though I use it. I seldom play it for long. Anyhow, this time I thought I'd leave it on play and put it on the roof of the car while I remained inside. After less then 2 minutes it had called the attention of 2 White-browed Fantails that were incredibly inquisitive! This was at 11:55 and not what I had expected.
Big smiles, camera out , sound to be recorded!

As they say: God's delays are not denials!


Rufous-bellied Woodpecker

 They say the secret to patience is to stay busy while you are waiting.
Well, I have waited for years to have an opportunity to see the Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, never having been in an area where it is found here in Thailand. So, on the 13th of Dec Nick Upton reported one at Mae Ping not too far from Chiang Mai. A number of people  quickly  went to see it but I had to wait till 2 days before the end of the year when I spent an afternoon and a morning without finding it.
So, after my fun trip with Peter Sharland​ and his wife Jenny I decided to give it another try.
This afternoon I arrived at the area for the bird at 3:45. It was dead quiet and hot. A few birds started vocalizing and I could tell Grey-headed Parakeets, Common Flameback, Lineated Barbet, Hooded Oriole were around........then I heard the strident call of the Rufous-bellied WP. Quite similar to Greater Flameback.
I moved towards the bird but must have scared it off as it quickly started calling from behind me.
This time I just stood there and waited. It didn't take long before I got brief but clear views of this little stunner! Years of waiting for an opportunity had finally arrived.
It is the only sap sucking woodpecker here and it was interesting to see the many holes in this one tree.

 A recording I did of the bird is found here: