Saturday, 17 October 2015

Quail and a few odd birds

Got news of a few Yellow-legged Button-quails at Long Valley in the morning circled around, so I decided to head over and check it out in the afternoon. The fields filled with Yellow Wagtails, a few Red-throated Pipits were there as well. But otherwise things seemed quiet.

The first interesting bird I saw was indeed a Quail, not a Button-quail but a Japanese Quail. We get these as regular migrants and winter visitors, though their numbers fluctuates from year to year. I personally have not seen them for a long while, so I was quite pleased to see this one. I managed a quick photograph before it "quailed" off, nothing spectacular but indeed my first photographic record of the species.

The usual Black-winged Stilts were business as usual, though you may still get nice compositions from their graceful postures from time to time. I must have taken hundred of photos similar to this one by now...

There weren't as many Buntings as I would expect, there were a few Yellow-breasted Buntings around. This species is now becoming rarer and rarer by the year, due to heavy poaching and hunting in China, less of these beautiful Buntings make it to their winter grounds. Yellow-breasted Buntings are considered a delicacy in China, people pay thousands of dollars just to eat it's supposedly nutritious meat, though I doubt very much that there are in fact any medicinal properties to it at all. It is very sad to know that such uncivilised practice still goes on till this day, and even sadder to know that they are being driven to extinction simply by one nation's appetite. The birds I saw were quite far away, no good photos either.

The second Bunting species were a pair of Chestnut-eared Buntings. They flew about the place, both remained in the distance. We get them every year, though in quite small numbers. Our hope for Amur Falcon faded as the sun went down, none came down to perch...Guess I will have to look some other time!


  1. I still don't have any shots of Jap Quail...nice

    1. Thanks John, they are indeed very shy birds! I heard many got decent photographs at LV last year though, hope you will get your turn soon!