Bird news from Subhojit Chakladar
Sunday birding covering two loops around the ferry terminal. Very few birds and a general summer like feel (along with bird species to match). The first loop covered the village beyond the “pass” and the MTB course while the second loop in the afternoon was along the southern trail that ends in the beach near the village. A total of 46 species were encountered (including 6 heard only) on the island between 10:30 am and 4 pm but it was hard work seeking them out. A striking contrast with conditions in Weiyon-do last week when every tree seems to be overloaded warblers and 5 species of bunting were feeding together in a single field of view! But some patience and a lot of legwork produced some good birds. The highlight were as follows:
Oriental Honey Buzzard – 3 were seen circling soon after arrival on the island. After gaining some height, they quickly drifted north eastwards aided by the wind.
Chestnut-cheeked Starling – 2 birds (possibly the same bird) were seen around the main village at different times of the day.
Daurian Starling – Seen in the morning in a tree, sitting next to the bird above.
Yellow-breasted Bunting – A male and a female seen around one of the inundated rice fields. Unfortunately, being against the sun means no picture of this very attractive in full breeding plumage.
Chinese Pond Heron – At least a dozen birds seen mostly along the rice fields and wetlands.
Black Drongo – 3 individuals close to each other near the ferry terminal.
Ashy Minivet – A flock seen flying overhead towards the end of the MTB trail.
Von Schrenck’s Bittern – Bird of the trip. Close views of 2 individuals including prolonged perched view of one. Both the birds were seen within 100 meters of each other. The first was flushed from a reedy wetland while the second was feeding the edge of an inundated rice field.
Its worth noting that not a single thrush or pipit was seen during this time. Warblers, flycatchers and buntings were far and few.