Sunday, February 12, 2012

Zitting Cisticola, Plaintive Cuckoo and Asian Koel

Another weekend of very intermittent Internet connections, combined with several power cuts at  home, resulted in no posts yesterday.

A pleasant Saturday morning walk around the patch in overcast conditions produced a respectable 79 species, the main area of fish ponds held at least 3000 Lesser Whistling Ducks and amongst them a dozen Cotton Pygmy Geese and 15 Little Grebes. It has become evident over the last week, several species which had previously been silent are now beginning to sing, at the back end of last year I was only noting small numbers of Zitting Cisticola, this morning birds were singing everywhere and I estimated 70 zitting birds. On most visits I usually record small numbers of Plaintive Cuckoo's, these are usually found feeding low down amongst the lotus and reeds, now like the previous species birds are singing from every area of scrub around the site and all over the city. Asian Koels started singing once again before christmas, now incessant singing birds can be heard from well before dawn on until dusk. 

Since my last visit a few days ago, the numbers of waders have dropped dramatically as water levels fall in the ever increasing heat, though the presence of a male and female Eastern Marsh Harrier throughout my visit didn't help, continuously flushing the few remaining waders. Species and totals today included 24 Common Snipe, 9 Pintail Snipe, 8 Wood Sandpiper and a single Common Sandpiper. It was a reasonable morning for bitterns and herons with 14 Yellow and 8 Cinnamon Bitterns flushed as I wandered around and 65 Night Herons over at dawn, had probably been disturbed from a nearby roost. Other noteworthy counts/species included 20 Pallas's Grasshopper and 30 Dusky Warblers, 11 Pheasant-tailed and 9 Bronze-winged Jacana, eight Paddyfield Pipits including two singing males and single Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker and Black-naped Monarch

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