A masala post, bluuurp. Excuse me!
These days, there are regular sightings of Yellow Bitterns, and Black Bitterns at my local wetland patch . Their resident populations seem to have got boosted by migrant populations as it usually happens.
A new bird got added to my bathroom birding list. And it is is this lovely Black-rumped Flameback.
The bathroom birding list comprise of birds seen from the bathroom windows (and occasionally doors), when occupied variously in it. My bathroom takes the form of a decent bird watching hide because of its strategic position. Other birds to have made to this pretty exclusive list include Brown Hawk Owl (aka. Brown Boobook) and Orange-headed Thrush! (One bird photographer even called over to photograph the latter using my bathroom as a hide!).
Brown Hawk Owl vocalisations are a regular feature at the dusk soundsape these days. I observed a pair calling and chasing each other in what appeared to be a courtship ritual yesterday. I did not use a flash light, as it would disturb them. It’s the beginning of the breeding season for a lot of birds including this one.
BTW, the above picture of Brown Hawk Owl, shot at my yard, will appear in the Thayer Birding Software’s Gold Edition DVD – Birds of North America to be released on 12 December, 2008.
For your information, a Brown Hawk Owl was recorded by a tour guide named Jake Mohlmann at the rarity Mecca, St Paul’s Island off the coast of Alaska in North America in August, 2007. It stayed on untill September.
So, it’s officially now made its way to the ABA checklist.
Click here to see the pictures of the errant bird and to read the very interesting account written by Jake on this mega sighting. Also read this post by N8’s account at The Drinking Bird on the same.
The aforementioned DVD lists 2,850 photos, 708 songs, 551 videos ( including 493 new action videos), 837 abundance maps, thousands of variations of over 700 quizzes, 957 range maps ( including 695 new detailed maps), 957 birds seen in the U.S. or Canada (including accidental and extinct species), November 2008 additions to the ABA checklist; plus all features found in version 3.9.6. Click here to order this DVD.
Sorry to if I had given you more Christmas shopping!
I am expecting the construction work of my dragonfly pond to be completed before the end of this weekend. It’s taken longer than I expected. A female Asian Skimmer that dropped by for ovipositing at an inch-deep puddle of rain water in it as it was being built became the first dragonfly to officially lay claim to it first!
This was interesting as it was also a ‘first’ to my yard’s burgeoning dragonfly list. She appeared to be at a desperate breeding rush and had no decency whatsoever to wait until I declare the pond open.
I will be leading 15-day Christmas Birding tour in the last two weeks of this month. I’d like to break the radio-silence from time to time. Can anybody tell me how to do a ‘scheduled-post’ in blogger please? I searched blogger help but couldn’t find it.
My 32nd birthday is coming up on the 1 Jan, people. I accept greeting cards and gifts at 146 A, Pahala Bomiriya, Kaduwela, Sri Lanka from now onwards. As for gift items, birding and natural history related books, CDs and DVDs are appreciated, thank you.
I received a couple blogging awards recently. First of these were this beautiful award from the flowergirl at Madras Ramblings from India.
And the second was this award from the fishing guy from OH, US.
I'd like to thank both of you for these wonderful awards! It’s been a while since I received a blog award. So it is a good feeling to be recognized this way. I hope I will be forgiven for not complying with your full set of rules!
I got my first decent shot of a dragonfly in flight at the rain water pool that I blogged about in my last post.
It was this world famous Wandering Glider aka. Globe Skimmer Pantala flavascens, which is a globe trotting species considered as the most widely distributed dragonfly in the world. It is a known temporary pool breeder and is almost always found flying—which was what pressed me to attempt the above shot.
My Canon 40 D and Canon 100 mm f2.8 Macro Lens stopped auto-focussing last week when I was shooting dragons at the aforementioned puddle. I took them to the repair centre of the local Canon dealer. It turned out that it wasn’t the lens. So they kept the camera body for further checking. After a week or so they called me to say that it is working okay. Apparently the auto-focussing problem has happened due to humidity. All what they had done was to clean to contacts of the camera body with a soft cloth. The bloke there told me to repeat it if it happens again, but before doing that, to make sure that I remove the battery to prevent short-circuiting.
I guided and facilitated a photo shoot of leaves in my garden, to be used for a desktop calendar for a local corporate. They were after leaves of 14 species of native/endemic flora to select from them, 12 to go with each month. I found them about 16 with various hues and textures to surpass their requirements. The two ladies who came got a few leeches too. Which was more than what they bargained for!
Now, I know I have admitted that I do not have leeches in my yard in a comment somewhere in this blog. Things have changed, folks. A small leech population has established probably after an accidental introduction caused by yours truly, when leech socks and boots were brought home straight from the rain forests without de-leeching them at the forest!
And let me tell you that some people that I know of are not too amused by this. So it is official that my home garden is a safe heaven for home-grown-terror. The first person to get a bleeding bite was my mom.
My friend Java Jones has tagged me for a blogging game called "I never".
Okay here goes my reply Mr. Jones. I’ve never.
1. thought that I would switch from Lion to Carlsberg in this lifetime. Seriously.
2. eaten a better tasting Chinese chop suay rice (mixed meat/sea food) than at the ‘late’ Garden restaurant that used to be near the Liberty Roundabout at Colpetty. Does anybody know whether it’s been relocated, please?
3. ad better arm-chair birding in Sri Lanka than from the balcony at Martin’s Simple Lodge, Sinharaja.
4. expected that a full body massage at La Passion, Battaramulla 90210., would be so awesome after a good day’s manual labour (at the pond).
5. think that anybody in this country could give a better earth-shattering head and shoulder massage as Ananda at Vajira Salon, Bamba.
6. thought that St Peter’s would thrash Royal 41-nil at Rugby as it happened magically in 2007 in our own den.
I end this masala post with this beauty that I photograged at my local wetland patch.
It is an Oriental Scarlet aka Scarlet Skimmer Crocothemis servilia servilia. Apparently this is also found in outside the Orient despite the local common name; "Oriental Scarlet" suggested in the Sri Lankan dragonfly guide, which in my opinion ought to be revised. According to the “Dragonflies through Binoculars – A Field Guide to Dragonflies of North America”, it was “discovered in Miami in 1975, I has spread to Orlando by 1986….It now occurs in the FL Keys, Cuba, and Hawaii and in the Old World ranges from the Middle East to Japan and Australia.”
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