Sunday, 15 November 2015

Quiet day at Long Valley

This autumn have been one of the worst for Long Valley, where the paddy fields are usually good for various species of Buntings from Crested, Rustic, Japanese Yellow, Pallas's Reed and Pine (We had our first last year), we only had four species to this point (Yellow-breasted, Little, Chestnut-eared and Black-headed). And it's not been very exciting in other department either...It's not been absolutely birdless, but nothing exciting had turned up at Long Valley this season. But this doesn't stop me from trying, as I always hope to find something interesting at Long Valley, and my faith for this site have not yet faded! So, out I was again hoping to find something interesting.

The weather was very nice and pleasant, if not even a little bit on the warm side. First up was anything but interesting, a Common Snipe. Hardly a rare sight, but it's still nice to see it out in the open. Black-winged Stilts were feeding along their usual spots. A fearless Black-collared Starling foraged on the track, it was either completely unbothered by my presence or that it was completely oblivious about my existence. A Plain Prinia provided nice views considering it's not their breeding season, but hardly something to be excited about! (OK I am starting to sound extremely ungrateful)

Common Snipe

Black-winged Stilt

Black-collared Starling

Plain Prinia

I kept scanning flocks of Tree Sparrows for the odd Russet or even House Sparrows, but no luck there. I have always find these "Country" Sparrows more charming then their city cousins, they are much brighter in colour (less dust I suppose) and are usually sharper looking. I did found an odd Sparrow, but it was nothing more then an oddly coloured individual, most likely a leucistic.

Tree Sparrow - the "Country" type

Tree Sparrow - a leucistic individual

Things finally got a little more interesting when a Javan Mongoose ran out from the paddy field. It stopped on the track in front and allowed me to take a few shots before it disappeared into the field again. I wonder if it was looking for snakes or birds at this time of the year. Mongoose are charming little creatures, usually quite curious about their surroundings, you may even see a group of them in the summer playing along road sides.

Javan Mongoose

I found plenty of Painted Snipes today, but all were in really thick cover. This male however thought he got away with it, ducking really low down into the water trying to stay out of sight. It was literally right by my feet, it just shows that they are very confident about their camouflage...At the same pond, a Chestnut-eared Bunting made an appearance, but it was quite skittish and went into cover pretty quickly.

Painted Snipe - you can't see me!

Chestnut-eared Bunting

Not far off a few Yellow-breasted Buntings perched on a Roselle plant. I saw around 10 individuals around Long Valley today, which is not a bad count for this species in a single day, although there would have no doubt be more in earlier years.

Yellow-breasted Bunting - female perched on a Roselle plant

Just as the sun goes down, I spotted another Chestnut-eared Bunting, this time on an overhead wire. Not the best shot but it's one of the better ones I have of this species this year. The cold front haven't brought much from the North, maybe the end of the month will be a little better.

Chestnut-eared Bunting

1 comment:

  1. It's pretty slow going at the moment, I agree.
    And tides at MP poor, too.