Monday, August 30, 2010

Doi Inthanon: 20-22 Aug 2010 III

This is going to be the last post for my trip to Doi Inthanon during 20-22 August. Although I've got quite many photos of the small birds in Ang Ka trail during the first evening, I got a lot more on the second day when the light was a bit better. When we got there, there was already a couple of bird photographers shooting these birds before us. They put out a lot of mealworms for the birds, but both walked out shortly after we arrived, so we took the place and photographed the birds which still came out to pick up leftover worms. The 2 Snowy-browed Flycatchers were the tamest of all. Both of them didn't mind us getting closer than just a foot away from them. We even enjoyed taking photos with the birds, but all photos were in my friend's camera. These birds are really dangerously tame!

As Phil made a comment about photographing the birds in this dense habitat must be something pretty difficult, and it is. Although these birds can be very tame when they come out for food we put out for, when they fly back into the forest, it's not an easy job to spot one. There was also not much light since the forest was very dark and these shots were taken at no more than 1/25 sec. The Snowy-browed Flycatchers were a bit easier to photograph since they often sat still for a quite a while, while the White-browed Shortwings never paused themselves for more than just 2 or 3 seconds.

Female Snowy-browed Flycatcher (Ficedula hyperythra)

And her colourful husband
Male White-browed Shortwing (Brachypteryx montana)
And the female
Among the 5 birds that came out to pick up mealworms (2 Snowy-browed Flycatchers, 1 male and 2 female White-browed Shortwings), the male Shortwing was the hardest target for me to photograph. Its all dark blackish-blue plumage makes it very difficult for the camera to focus. Although having the white eyebrows, it's still difficult to focus as the bird moved around all the time. So I ended up having very few photos of it.

The 2 photos above show the male shortwing in 2 different setting. The one on the left was shot with filled flash and another one was only with natural light. I unexpectedly got the second one because the flash was still charging but I was firing continuously. I later checked the photo and was surprised that it was sharp. I actually prefer not to use flash, since the photo looks much more natural without it, but in a condition like that, it was necessary. I was so happy to get a sharp one and without flash.

The female White-browed Shortwing has plain brown plumage with orange eyebrows instead of white. There were 2 individuals that came out to the area and both came very often so I could get a lot more shots than the more colourful male.

(From left to right) 1-3. Mountain Bulbul (Ixos mcclellandii) was the most common species of bulbul during the trip 4. The uncommon Chestnut-crowned Warbler (Seicercus castaniceps) also came out at the 2nd Checkpoint in the third morning 5. Spectacled Barwing (Actinodura ramsayi) 6. The colourful Silver-eared Mesia (Mesia argentauris) was found in flocks at Km 34.5 7-8. The Golden-throated Barbet (Megalaima franklinii) visiting fruiting tree

Dark-backed Sibias (Heterophasia melanoleuca)

The last species of bird we watched before saying goodbye was the Flavescent Bulbul (Pycnonotus flavescens). There was a family staying near the roadside near the 2nd Checkpoint. The parent birds were busy finding food for the 2 fledglings which were perching on a low branch. We watched the parents feed their chicks with different kinds of fruits before the chicks later flew into a thick bush. We concluded the trip with 57 species. Not so good, but also not too bad considering that we also had periods of heavy rainfall.


Phil said...

Absolutely cracking shots again A. That Snowy-browed Flycatcher is a nice looking bird but also Dark-backed Sibias, 2 species I must admit I had not heard of. I suppose you have the problem of "waves" of birds also, something I experienced in Africa, India and Malaysia whereby all the species tend to mix together and go off on a large feeding circuit leaving you quiet and birdless for many, many minutes?

Stu said...

Agree re the Flycatcher, great shots. Wish the Narcissus ones here were as tame!

Unravel said...

Thanks Phil and Stu!
Yes, most insectivorous birds in tropical forest move in waves as we call it 'bird-wave'. They can bring in surprises but when they're gone, they leave the forest really quiet.

Stu> Yes, I wish that the Narcissus is also as tame as this. I like the colour of it more, and still haven't managed to get a satisfied shot of it.

Chris said...

Euh wow, I'm stunned and speechless!!! Wow.... I do not even have words to define what I feel after reading your post and seeing these magnificent shots. Splendid! I guess this is the word for this sequence of pictures!

Dominic Gendron said...

Very impressive serie's! The first serie is the best ;)

Unravel said...

Thank you Chris and Dominic Gendron!

Ryou said...

Yes I agree that the picture without the flash turned out better and more natural. The Sibias sitting side by side look rather cute. And haha, it's not often that you get to take photos with the birds, especially wild ones! Very good collection of photos from your whole trip! :-)