Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Two Rosy Starlings in Dhangadhi

Tuesday, 8th May, 2012

After last week's sighting of a Rosy Starling, I today saw 2 birds in exactly the same tree - and once again from my balcony! This time, I used my telescope and digital camera adapter to take some slightly better pictures. Carol Inskipp was kind enough to comment on the original sighting and commented that Rosy Starling "probably fits the catergory of rare visitor now". However, the Great Slaty Woodpeckers also sparked some interest, so today I have more pictures of both.

Firstly, I went to the woods on the 6th May only to find an extensive area of undergrowth completely destroyed by fire. I'm quite sure many birds lost nests, and certainly breeding habitat for the year. However, the 4 Great Slaty Woodpeckers seemed oblivious to everything and continued with their display from the previous week.

Great Slaty Woodpecker - Dhangadhi Woods
Also very nice was a fruiting tree that held large numbers of Yellow-throated Sparrow (Chestnut-shouldered Petronia), Indian grey Hornbill, Alexandrine Parakeet and a pair of Chestnut-tailed Starling.

Yellow-throated Sparrow - Dhangadhi Woods

Indian Grey Hornbill - Dhangadhi Woods

And so to today's Rosy Starlings...

Two birds, same tree, better pictures.

Rosy Starling - Dhangadhi

Rosy Starling - Dhangadhi

Rosy Starling - Dhangadhi
These could be my last sightings from the Far-West for a while. We're now into Day 12 of a total shut-down, with escalating violence. Two colleagues got out in a UN vehicle this afternoon. The remaining 4 of us are probably heading out with a police-escorted convoy tonight. Will keep you posted!


Thursday, 3 May 2012

A Rosy Starling in Dhangadhi

Thursday, 3rd May 2012

Power has become very unreliable this last week with us down to just a couple of hours a day. This is frustrating but expected at this time of year. Likewise, we're into the 7th day of a complete local shut-down/strike with everything pretty much shut down - ceratinly all transportation and banks. A few local shops open at unusual times to supply the essentials but it's most definitely been a slow week. So, to be brief, I'll just post some of the highlights of the week starting with this Rosy Starling seen from my balcony this morning. Listed as a vagrant, this is a very good record for Nepal. None of today's photos are great but the birds themselves certainly are.

Rosy Starling and Asian Pied Starling - Dhangadhi

Rosy Starling and Asian Pied Starling - Dhangadhi
Also very nice (and initially in the same tree) were 3 White-naped Woodpeckers. Again, I managed to get a couple of record shots.

White-naped Woodpeckers - Dhangadhi
And so on to my local woods once again. The highlight this week was a total of 5 Great Slaty Woodpeckers - 3 males, 1 female and the last bird not seen well enough. They were engaged in a bizarre display which involved the birds spreading their wings and then jumping side to side around the trunk of the tree - I saw this species fairly often when I was living in Thailand but never saw anything like this before.

Great Slaty Woodpecker (there are actually 3 males and 1 female here)

Great Slaty Woodpecker (female) - Dhangadhi

Great Slaty Woodpecker (male) - Dhangadhi
Two last ones before the power goes - female Crested Bunting feeding in stubble beside the house a couple of weeks ago and the 'resident' Blyth's Reed warbler next door.

Crested Bunting (female) - Dhangadhi
Blyth's Reed Warbler - Dhangadhi