I awoke to find the hill shrouded in cloud; not ideal, but I was determined to stake out the place where I had glimpsed the Peacock-Pheasant the previous day. Since last June, when I photographed a female, I had dreamed of photographing a male, so I had my hide set up before dawn.
At 7.15 the male called once in the same place I had heard it yesterday.
One hour later he walked out onto the trail. The water vapour in the air made using the flash impossible, so I had to use very slow shutter speeds and most of my pictures were blurred. He was extremely wary, visibly starting at the sound of the camera. I tried a couple of flash shots, which sent him scuttling away into the undergrowth, but they turned out like milk!
A few moments after he had exited stage right, another bird walked onto the path from the left, but I wasn't able to get any sharp shots.
Half an hour later, both birds walked back onto the trail from the right, and I was able to get a couple of shots of the second bird, which surprisingly, also seemed to be a male, though the tail was slightly shorter.
Meanwhile I heard a third male calling away to the right. Half an hour later the second male reappeared on the trail much closer to me, but the light was so bad that I only managed a couple of blurry pics. After two hours cramps started setting in so I gave up, well satisfied with 4 sightings of 2 birds, though frustrated with the light!
I spent the rest of the morning walking road the Old Road up from the Gap , trying in vain to hear or see my elusive target birds. The foggy conditions extended all the way down to the Gap, so it was a wash-out photographically. Still, after the morning's experience I wasn't too upset!
The next morning the weather was worse, and another 2 hours in the hide drew a complete blank, and then it was time to go. So, the Cutias and Pheasants gave me plenty to be happy with, while those elusive bogey birds still give me plenty to go back for!