Friday, 30 October 2009

In Flagrante Delicto

Stilt-legged Flies in flagrante delicto
These Stilt-legged Flies, were photographed in flagrante delicto in my garden at Bomiriya, 90210. They belong to the family: Micropezidae. And they truly engage in marathon mating efforts, and are easier to photograph when they are blinded by love.

More hot news, this time birding: last Tuesday was an eventful day. It started very early with a vocal Common Hawk Cuckoo waking me up at 1.30 in the morning! Migrants of this bird species boost the resident populations during this time of the year. I think what I heard was a migrant on transit to more woodier interiors. It was a first record for my garden, so I had no complains, despite the nuisance caused.

At a more civilised hour on the same day, I found two hoped for migrants in my yard. The first was an Indian Pitta, which comes all the way from Himalayas. It was seen hopping at a corner of my garden (with dense undergrowth), especially designated for it. I am looking forward to photograph it later on—after giving it some time to settle down. The Indian Pitta is truly gorgeous bird, which explains why it's been featured in the front cover of Salim Ali's magnum opus, The Book of Indian Birds.

The second migrant seen was this Brown-breasted Flycatcher.

Brown-breasted Flycatcher
When I started birding, it used to be known as Layard's Flycatcher, named after Edgar Leopold Layard (1824 – 1900)—a British civil servant, who succeeded in adding an astonishing 136 species of birds to Sri Lanka's list of birds. This achievement is phenomenal considering that when he started collecting, our avain inventory stood at 182. The scientific name of this bird is Muscicappa muttui of which, the specific epithet: muttui is to honour Muttu (more correctly, Muththu)—the Tamil servant of Layard, who collected this bird from, Point Pedro, Jaffna—the northernmost tip in Sri Lanka. Layard was full of praise for Muttu, and wrote that he has named this bird after him: "... to whose patient perseverance and hunting skill, I owe best of my birds."

The collection of the first Brown-breasted Flycatcher was made by Muttu in June, which suggests that the individual collected was a loiterer—a migrant that has over stayed.

And the penalty it had to pay for that immigration delinquency was death!

21 comments:

Kirigalpoththa said...

Lovely photos..and good luck with the web layout design :)

Dominic Gendron said...

This Stilt-legged Flies is just awseome...wow! Great blog by the way ;)

Gallicissa said...

Hi K,
I hope you will like the final result.

Hi Dominic,
Thanks! Watching flies mate is not too boring as watching golf. George Carlin got it wrong there.

Nat said...

These pictures left me SPEECHLESS ! Good luck with your new venture !& .... Gorgeous shots Amila...AS USUAL !!!!! : )

Tabib said...

Ha.ha..!,caught in the act.
Great peeping Tom macro.

Gallicissa said...

Hi Nat,
Thanks! That is very nice to know.

Hi Tabib,
Hahaha...but I am not an accomplished peeping Tom like you!

flowergirl said...

Tut, tut, Amila, give them some privacy!!!

(Its a fabulous shot, though!) Look fwd to the Indian pitta as well...they've come here aswell.

And I loved your sanderling post - too lazy to go there and comment....I should check if they are seen here.

kanishkauku said...

Nice shot Amila! by the way is your zip code really 90210?

Gallicissa said...

Hi flowergirl,
Welcome to NSFW fly pictures.
You should get Sabnderlings turning up there, although I did not see any when I was the ringing shorebirds. Let me know if you find one!

Hi Kanishka,
Thanks and no!
It was just me displaying my wierd sense of humour.

Riyazi and Michelle said...

Excellent post as usual and a brilliant shot of the stilt legged flies as well - I would expect a shot like that to be in BBC Wildlife Photographer of the year exhibition.

Not a fan of your new banner though :( With the shots you have, you can create a much more eye catching one?

Gallicissa said...

Hi Riyazi,
Thank you!
I am glad you think that shot is BWP material.

Thanks again, for your feedback on the header/banner. Good to hear that from a photographer!

I just created a poll about it, after your comment. Let's see what others think about it.

I think I might do several of those header types and keep rotating them seasonally, to fit my mood!

Gallicissa said...

Hi Riyazi,
Thank you!
I am glad you think that shot is BWP material.

Thanks again, for your feedback on the header/banner. Good to hear that from a photographer!

I just created a poll about it, after your comment. Let's see what others think about it.

I think I might do several of those header types and keep rotating them seasonally, to fit my mood!

S.C.E. said...

That Stilt-legged Flies photo is quite stunning.......

Gallicissa said...

Hi Stu,
Thank you!
I tried using a tripod to shoot in another occassion and failed dismally.

oldcrow61 said...

The picture of those flies is unbelievable. Fantastic!!

Gallicissa said...

Hi OC,
Thanks a lot!
Good to hear from you.

Dev Wijewardane said...

Great shot Amila. What lens did you use?

Dev Wijewardane said...

I was referring to the shot of the flies.

Gallicissa said...

Thanks Dev!
Canon 100mm f2.8 with Canon MT-24EX macro flash.

Dev Wijewardane said...

It's come out really well. Canon has a new 100mm macro with a new IS system. It's on the market now i think.

Gallicissa said...

Hi Dave,
I am taking a 'wait and see' approach with regard to that lens. It looks a beauty. Stu (S.C.E) above has some negative comments about it in his blog. In any case it will take a while to come to SL.

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