Monday, October 3, 2011

Blue Monday version 2.0

Suan Rot Fai early morning - weather was rather dismal and the light not great, which really didn't help things when I found a skulking female Cyornis flycatcher.  It showed a couple of times really badly, and I got some photos that might help clinch the ID (it's either Hill Blue or Chinese Blue, but the taxonomy is complex (e.g. see here) and ID'ing a female  bird on migration is a headache).



More by a process of elimination than anything else, I think this bird is probably a Hill Blue Flycatcher. There is a lack of contrasting pale throat against the colour of the breast (which this bird exhibited, and which I am now confident is a "Chinese Blue", the former glaucicomans race of Blue-throated). Cyornis flycatchers are a real challenge to ID on migration, and today's little skulker was no exception.

The other main highlight of the morning was a flock of 10-15 Blue-throated Bee-eaters,  a new bird for the patch.  Blue-throated is a relatively common migrant and a bird that I've been expecting, so it was great to finally connect with a rather showy group that passed through the park, stopped to feed and then carried on south.

 A study in blue
There was a nice variety of other migrants around including the first Taiga Flycatcher and Black-capped Kingfishers (2) of the autumn, two Pale-legged Leaf Warblers, Eastern Crowned Warbler, two Plain-tailed Warblers,  five Asian Brown Flycatchers and several Brown Shrikes.

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