Friday, October 28, 2011

White-bellied Green-Pigeon

I've been thinking of going to Shiraki to take photos of the White-bellied Green-Pigeons (Treron sieboldii) ever since I came back to Japan. Too bad time and weather never quite cooperated. Whenever I'm free, the weather always sucked. Finally, I could pay a visit there on a sunny afternoon of October 27. I arrived at the place around 1:45pm. The light was perfect, the colour of the ocean was perfect. The only thing missing was the bird! Wait, no, the small ladder that I used to climb down to the shore 10m plus below was also missing. I thought I could just go down by myself without the ladder and I even gave it a try, which I failed miserably. It was too high and dangerous for me who's never done something quite acrobatic. So I kept looking for an alternative and I finally found another ladder some hundreds metres away, so finally I could go down to the shore (even though I had to hop along the strange looking rocks used to absorb tsunami for hundreds metres until I could finally reach the place where the birds are and this part was the most exciting, I could break my legs if I had just a slight slip!)

Male White-bellied Green-Pigeons (Treron sieboldii)
I set up my hide as soon as I reached the spot and kept on waiting. Time went by for almost an hour and still no bird came to the rocks. Normally there should be large flocks circling all through the sky, but today there was none. I almost thought I wouldn't get any picture back. But then 2 birds appeared on the rock in front of the hide. They were a pair of male and female birds. Although they were a bit too far, the colours were amazing. The male didn't stay for too long. It flew away before coming any closer. The female stayed much longer and even came a bit closer. I kept asking myself why there weren't any more birds. Maybe they don't need much salt during winter?

Female White-bellied Green-Pigeons (Treron sieboldii)

After the female bird has left, nothing came to the rocks for more than an hour. I kept waiting hoping that there might be a big flock coming before sunset. Instead, there was just 1 male bird came flying down from the forest above and perched on the rock just a few metres away from the hide. I was the closest I've ever got to these birds (well, except the sick one that I found felling off from a tree at Mt. Takasaki). The bird was so close that in one of the shots, the one on the header, I had to clone the tail from another photo because I couldn't fit its whole body into the frame! It stayed for about 5 minutes before flying back into the forest leaving me with nothing until sunset. So that's the story of my return to Shiraki this autumn. Seems like summer can surprisingly be much more productive.

Male White-bellied Green-Pigeons (Treron sieboldii)


Russell said...

Wow! Aren't the colours spectacular? Love the blurred sea and the red ring around the eye. One of the small factors required for such bird photography I'm sadly "patience". You have its rewards. Beautiful work.

Stu said...

Quite superb. The best Aobato pictures I've seen, anywhere.

Ayuwat Jearwattanakanok said...

Thanks a lot Russell and Stu!
But I also often failed even with my best patience though lol
BTW, I believe yours are the best flight shots of this species anywhere too, Stu!