Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Local Swallow

It's always nice to see something else other than the same old Barn Swallow. Wire-tailed Swallow (Hirundo smithii) is one of the very few resident Hirundines in Thailand. It is rather uncommon and strictly found only in some parts of N/W Thailand. Lucky for me, a strong population inhabits along my village's Mae Taeng River. I went out birding around the river the other day and I spotted many Wire-tailed Swallows flying around acrobatically catching insects against the blue afternoon sky. I waited to see if they're gonna perch somewhere and finally the flock came perching down on a TV antenna nearby.

You can see how the bird's got its name. Male Wire-tailed has very long filamentous outermost tail feathers looking like wires trailing behind. Its underparts are pure white contrasting with glossy blue upperparts and crimson red cap. Female is a bit duller with pale buffish wash on its throat and with shorter 'wires'.
The flock mainly made up of juveniles.

The birds seemed to enjoy preening, stretching and sunbathing.
I tried some flight shots but didn't seem to be successful.
Of course, there were familiar faces, the Barn Swallows, a winter visitor in Thailand.


Phil said...

You got some nice photos there A. I think I saw WTS in Satun on a boat trip from Langkawi but as I dont tend to keep lists I cant be sure. Would I see them there?

Unravel said...

Thanks Phil! I don't think they can be seen down there. Peninsula Malaysia seems to be mostly occupied by the Barn Swallow-like Pacific Swallow (Hirundo tahitica).