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.