Wednesday, January 16, 2008
14th Jan, 2008: Mae Hia Agricultural College
Following the directions on Nick Upton's excellent website, I visited Mae Hia Agricultural College by rented motorbike today. The first birds I saw were some Ostriches, before turning off the main road into the campus itself. Again, I had arrived in the heat of the day, so I wasn't expecting too much, but there was a good variety of birds, even if most of my pictures seem to be of birds perched on electricity wires!
I find birds in general in Thailand pretty wary; perhaps they have good reason to be. Generally they are happy to stay put until I point my camera at them, at which point they usually fly off!
One of the first birds I saw was this female/imm pied Bushchat. Males are a really smart black and white, but they seem less numerous and even more wary than the females.
Another frequenter of wires is this male Purple Sunbird. He uses them as a perch from which to sing his buzzing song. What with the choice of perch, his slightly electrical-sounding song and his glossy metallic plumage, he seems quite a high tech sort of bird!
I spent ages trying to get a sharp picture of the bee-eaters in flight, without success, but at least this one isn't on a wire. They're one of the commonest birds around, but you can't have too many in my humble opinion!
I was quite pleased to catch these Red-billed Blue Magpies. They're shy birds despite their gaudy plumage and loud calls. I surprised a group drinking at a pool. They flew up into some trees. Anticipating that they might break cover across a gap in the trees, I ran ahead and waited. Eventually, one by one, they flew across the gap exactly as I'd hoped. It's not often I guess right, but it's nice when it happens!