Saturday, August 28, 2010

25th August 2010: Kubah National Park

I awoke to the sound of steady drizzle, and the rain didn’t stop till about 9am. I made my way up to the pitta spot and did a bit of ‘gardening’, clearing loose debris and tying back saplings, so that I had a clearer view of the area where the pitta had appeared last night. I then left the place for about an hour.

A familiar face! Another Rufous-crowned Babbler.

A Jentinck's Squirrel, in the same tree that I photographed one two years ago!

Right, now is probably a good time to put on some sunglasses!

At the pitta spot I played the call for over an hour and got zero response from the bird. Just before starting the player on what I decided would be my last try, I heard the bird calling – not very close but not too distant. I knew this was the same bird as the one I’d seen yesterday due to the distinctive downward slur of its call. However, after a few calls, it stopped, and I decided to turn the MP3 player off as well. After 5 – 10 minutes of silence, suddenly a familiar orange head appeared over the lip of the knoll, exactly where it had first appeared yesterday.

The show begins! It hopped up onto the knoll and stood motionless for a time...

Then it flew a few feet up onto a low liana, where it remained for some minutes, no more than 10 metres away.

A clear shot at last!

Since I had brought the tripod today I was able to try taking some shots without flash. I'd forgotten to bring my remote shutter release, so these a bit 'soft' at 1/5 of a second, but OK!

I much prefer the natural light to the effect of flash, but you need a very steady tripod and a very still bird!

This bird was incredibly obliging, and even allowed me chance to shoot a minute or so of video, which I posted a couple of days ago.

After sitting on the vine for a while, the bird moved up the slope on my left as it had yesterday. Eventually it hopped up onto a log to my left about 4 metres away! It then hopped down again and called to me for about 5 minutes. I just sat there and watched it without using my bins or trying to take pictures. It was a moment of magic that I'll not quickly forget! Having made sure I knew who was boss, it hopped off out of sight and stopped calling, and that was it for the day. I watched it for about 20 minutes today - less than yesterday, but with much superior views!

As I got up to go I noticed some shoots of the wild ginger plant to my left. They were exactly the same brilliant red and orange as the pitta.


Hawkeyes a.k.a Kiah said...


Superb shot of the Pitta. I like the shot with natural light. Great catch.

Gyorgy Szimuly (Szimi) said...

Amazing set of images. Love them all.

Cheers, Szimi

Wai Yien said...

just gorgeous

Jason Bugay Reyes said...

Hahaha nice !

Choy Wai Mun said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Choy Wai Mun said...

WOW!! I love the pitta shots. Well done again.

Thaibirder said...

The natural light is superb.
Is this with your zoom lens?
What body did u use?

digdeep said...

Hi Peter

This was taken with my 100-400m lens on a Canon 7D body - hence the HD video!



Chien said...

Incredible! This is a real gem! Congratulations on the really perfect pictures, as Kiah mentioned, the natural lighting ones are much much better

Anonymous said...

strange, now you prefer not to flash after flashing for so many years.

Friend of HK said...

What a stunning looking bird, so beautiful!
Love your blog and will definitely come back!

Redzlan aka Tabib said...

Amazing! forest beauty