Friday, August 13, 2010

The lifer that wouldn't cooperate.

Its always nice to see a life bird and when you visit new countries loaded with cool endemics like the funky chicken (aka Sri Lankan Jungle Fowl) from Thursday its relatively easy. It is nice to actually get a proper look at them though. Take the lifer in this picture for example.....

hidden3

What do you mean you can't see it?


It's totally obvious.


Fine I'll crop down for you.....


buff fish owl

See. Buffy fish owl. This was one of two birds in the same tree both of which resolutely refused to put themselves in a position where one could see them properly. The other bird flew at one point only to obscure itself thus:

buff fish owl2

It then retreated further into the foliage. Very frustrating birds but such is life. Had we been permitted to leave the jeep we'd have got great views but that just wasn't viable. Luckily this is quite a widespread species so hopefully I'll get another shot at it someday. This is a classic example of local knowledge kicking in; all the jeep drivers knew this pair was there so it was a matter of locating them - without that knowledge you'd have no chance. Similarly if you went the extra mile and went with a specialist birding tour; the birding guide may well know of a more accessible pair in a different location. As always a birder on holiday is torn between many many options; too much nature, too little time.

2 comments:

Gallicissa said...

Aloha!
This, I am afraid, is not Buffy Fish Owl Ketupa ketupa, but Brown Fish Owl Ketupa zeylonensis. As a matter of fact, we do not have Buffy in SL.

Yes, a specialist bird tour guide would have got you better views; plus identified it correctly. :P

tai haku said...

Thanks Amila. As you may have guessed from the tone of this post there was a certain amount of my kicking myself for not getting a specialist guide (and since you're the only Sri Lankan one I know and have an awesome blog that would obviously have been you) but the whole trip was organised very late and for various other reasons I didn't think that would fly. Next time I'm that way you'll be my first port of call so I can rack up the rest of the Lankan owls.