We had our first rain for many weeks last night and it improved the air quality quite a bit. I decided to make another late afternoon foray to try to get better views of the Booted Eagles.
A lot of the subadult Brahminy Kites are in wing moult at the moment. This pic is a nice contrast to the Booted Eagle photos from yesterday - small head, rounded tail tip and convex trailing edge to the secondaries.
Something different... but not a Booted Eagle - a resident Changeable Hawk-Eagle - also a subadult.
White-bellied Sea-Eagles are always around, but I can never resist taking pictures of them, especially the heraldic adults.
Anyone looking for a logo?!
Another photogenic raptor - a Black-shouldered Kite in characteristic hovering pose. Though small, they harry the eagles fearlessly whenever they come too close - they must have a nest somewhere near.
But no Booted Eagles today!
Once the harvester had finished for the day I moved into position alongside a tiny remnant of uncut paddy and a rare oasis of water.
It was being used by three generations of White-browed Crakes, two Slaty-breasted Rails and some White-breasted Waterhens, though only the former were sufficiently bold to allow photographs.
This was definitely the youngest Crake!
Here it is with a slightly older sibling(?); the head and body feathers are growing but the wing and tail feathers are not yet fully developed.
...as can be seen here.
There were two older fully-fledged juveniles that must have been from a separate clutch.
One of these was missing two toes on the left foot - the latest in my series of birds with deformed limbs.
The other appeared to have an overgrown lower mandible. I couldn't help wondering whether these aberrations had anything to do with the pesticide-loaded environment in which they live.
Eventually one of the parents showed up, much to the excitement of one of the young birds.
Parent and youngster.
Yuk! Imagine taking a drink of this soup - we'd be lucky to survive!
And fancy having a bath in the stuff!
Getting good and clean!
Bathing in pesticide soup leads to inevitable spontaneous combustion!
But wait - perhaps there's something in this mudpack beauty treatment stuff!
Ta-DA! How do they do that? They bathe in filth and come out glistening.
Today I found out why crows are black... so they can hide in fields of burnt stubble!
I caught a small group of Large-billed Crows feeding in a newly hoed field in the last rays of the sun. Usually these birds are incredibly difficult to approach, but they tolerated me today, and I got my best pics yet of these birds.
Giving me the eye!
This spot has a pair of Asian Pied Starlings nesting, but all I could find was this Asian piebald Common Myna!
And this rather splendid Crested Myna.
During the afternoon I also found this Paddyfield Pipit singing away from one of the few perches available.