Friday, May 29, 2020

Birds at home!

The first really long rains kept falling through the night making me decide against going out this morning.

But after rains birds sing!

First one as usual is the ever so noisy Asian Koel. I don’t think there is a single birder that doesn’t know it by sound.

The distinctive whistles of Malaysian Pied Fantail follows. We have a resident pair in our garden and it is always fun to watch these little buggers hunt insects.

The Eastern Jungle Crows, (Large-billed Crows) fly over our house in the early morning and some of them make a little stop on the rooftops or trees across the road.

The loveliest singer of them all starts singing really early. Magpie Robin whereof we have several pairs in the immeditate surroundings. They often come for a drink of water or on the lawn to look for grubs.

Greater Coucal is also mostly active in the early morning and you can hear its low pitched booming call. It must be a master of disguise cause as large as it is and as common as it is in urban areas it isn’t always readily seen.

Our 3rd Cuckoo, Plaintive Cuckoo, has 3 different vocalizations. Once learned one realize how regular it is. Not always so easy to see but not that hard either.

The incessant call of Brown-throated Sunbird grabbed my attention. A male singing from the top of an ornate palm tree. The song always reminds me of Chiffchaffs from Northern Europe in that they keep at it seemingly forever.

The Olive-backed Sunbird however has a more simple contact call but is a more common then Brown-throated and often visits the flowers in our garden. It also does its explosive drill like song.
I only had a fly by Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker but its rapid tick-tick-tick-tick-tick makes it hard to go unnoticed.

Great Myna and Common Myna are loud birds always around. They like our little vegetable garden as well as the lawn. But they also enjoy telephone wires and top of buildings. I still haven’t achieved the level of telling them apart by sound.

Common Tailorbird with its repetitive call note is another bird always in the area but due to its small size and feeding behavior not always obvious.

Common Iora is always here but often silent and hidden in the vegetation. It has several sounds but is not hard to identify once learned.

The appropriately named Coppersmith Barbet with its one tonal call is a daily bird. A real winner with its striking colors and exotic looks.

So then our 2 resident doves: Spotted and Zebra……they are always here though Zebra is more common then Spotted. Zebra is one of those birds the locals like to use for song bird competition. Seems a bit out of place but a past time hobby for some I suppose.

We have 2 species of Bulbuls on our daily garden list and so it was this morning as well.
Yellow-vented, always in pairs, with nice musical notes. When I first started birding I was awakened by a rich song and I thought it was a Straw-headed Bulbul since I had heard that it would be the best singer of the Bulbuls. The song was coming from inside bushes and it was difficult to see it. So later when I found out I was surprised. Anyhow, the Straw-headed is no longer found in Thailand and very rare anywhere else as well.

Streak-eared Bulbuls are not very musical. Just a chatter. Very successful birds they are in terms of survival rate and I guess that is due to its rather dull appearance, poor vocals and bold behavior.

The last birds to add to the symphony this morning was our 2 sparrow species. We have a group of about 10 Eurasian Tree Sparrows but mixed with them is a pair or 2 of House Sparrows. The latter has a harsher sound that stands out from the chattering from the Tree Sparrows.

All this was enjoyed along with home baked Italian bread made by my son Steven and some fantastic aged Castello Alp Selection Classic Bergkase.

Sounds can be found at www.xeno-canto.org
And the birds here: https://www.facebook.com/peterericsson56/media_set…
https://ebird.org/checklist/S69820757

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