Sunday, July 4, 2010

House of Martins

As I have mentioned earlier in the previous post that a large flock of Asian House-Martin was found hanging around in my campus, today I went to the campus early in the morning in order to pick up my forgotten documents. This time I brought a camera with me, and surprisingly the birds still showed up in the same area, so after I picked up my things, I quickly grabbed some photos of the martins that were flying and perching on the clock tower at the center of the campus. Too bad there was no way for me to get close to the birds, so these shots are just for the record.

I noticed that juvenile birds took up almost 70-80% of the whole flock. They have distinct grey breast band and much duller upperparts, while adult birds have no distinct band on the breast with glossy black upperparts. All the birds flew out of the clock tower around 10am and dispatched to other area. While I was walking around trying to find their new roost, I came across several individuals of Red-rumped Swallow swifting around the football field, along with Barn Swallows and some of the Asian House-Martins. I later found their new roost and it was a high steel tower far away down the hill below the campus. It also seemed like the number of the bird has increased. There were around 200 birds perching all along the wire with many flying all over the places. Pretty soon this flock should disappear to the south as part of the autumn migration. A new phase of birding has started warming up already!



Here are the photos!



I really have no idea why they were so obsessed with the clock tower...



Apart from the swallows and martins, there were several
singing Meadow Buntings.


Few House Swifts also accidentally got into the frame as well! I didn't notice that they were swifts until I checked the photos from the computer. I also heard few Lesser Cuckoos singing and I saw one flying out of a tree around the tennis court. Many skylarks were found and there were several juvenile birds as well. I also heard a noisy sound of the Red-billed Leiothrix in a thick bush.

5 comments:

Ryou said...

Nice shots of the Martins and interesting observation! Do you prefer to use auto or manual focus while taking the flying shots?

Unravel said...

Hi Ryou!
Thanks for the comment. I used manual for these flight shots. They're so fast and my camera's auto-focus is not that good for BIF. Most of the shots are actually blurry though...

Phil said...

Those birds certainly seem to look like they are building up for migration and using power lines just like our Barn Swallows do soon.

John said...

Lots of Barn Swallows here in HK, too - but we won't see House Martin until autumn migration gets started...

Ryou said...

Thanks for the info! Being rather small birds, it must have been really challenging to get shots of the Martins in flight. Anyway, those Martins will meet you again when you're back in Thailand in August. You'll migrate home too. :-)