Friday, November 4, 2011

Blue Rock Thrush

Yesterday, Russell wrote about a Slightly Silent Autumn in his blog, and I was surprised because the same thing is also happening here in Beppu. It's not that we always have such a lively autumn, but at least it has always been much livelier. The weather is also much different from the last one. It is much warmer than the same time last year. I can still wear the same clothes I wore in summer during the day and fully open my window at night without getting a cold. I was surprised looking at photos of myself taken around the same time last year wearing 2 or 3 layers of clothes. Coincidentally, I'm now reading a book called The End Of Nature by Bill McKibben. It mainly discusses about global warming and it is not pleasing at all to witness such a dramatic change in birds and weather around here, especially after having read the book with such title. The change feels almost tangible.

Female Blue Rock Thrush (Monticola solitarius philippensis)

I visited Rokushou-en on October 17, and it was one of those quiet, not so productive visits. There were only few birds along the shore, 3 Great Cormorants, 1 Common Sandpiper and a pair of Blue Rock Thrushes. That's all. At least, the rock thrushes were quite obliging enough, especially the female that came to pick up insects on the bench close to where I was sitting. The male bird was more skittish and wouldn't let me get too close. Even though it was in its non-breeding plumage, it still looked fine with its blue and chestnut plumage. The black, white and grey scales of the non-breeding plumage make it look a bit more rockier. Though the Blue Rock Thrush is quite common elsewhere, I find that I have few photos of this species. In fact, I've only photographed it properly once during the summer of 2010 when a family was found near Furuichi. Photos of the family can be seen here. I have to say that the male is quite attractive in its breeding plumage.

Non-breeding male Blue Rock Thrush (Monticola solitarius philippensis)

3 comments:

Stu said...

Still very mild up here too......
Great BRT pics, though they are common up here too I've yet to take a decent shot of one.......

Russell said...

These are super birds aren't they. You really got the texture of both of them very well. I've got only a couple of sad snaps of one male. They don't like anyone getting close. Thanks for the link to my post. Last week the tv news showed cherry blossoms at some places. Maybe the birds are heading north.

Phil said...

Just brilliant shots of Blue Rock Thrush. I have to wait until I go to the Med to see them but can never get such great pictures as yours.