Sunday, October 31, 2010

My recent sightings in Asia

I just returned from another trip to Asia for my job, and now have time to sit down and enjoy again a few of the birds I saw along the way. In addition to the one I had seen in India a few years ago (see previous post) I was happy to see some others that I occasionally see on my annual trips to that part of the world.

The White Wagtail may be about the easiest bird to find in Tokyo, Japan, but it's also always a pleasure to see. This one was with another in a park on a new man-made island in Tokyo Bay near the Sunroute Ariake Hotel.

Black-tailed Gulls were watching for edible scraps stirred up by boats moving through the channels...
...and a few Great Cormorants were resting on the rocks along a breakwater.

In Guam a few days later I again was saddened by the fact that most species of birds have been extirpated by the Brown Tree Snake, but did enjoy seeing two Black Drongos flycatching from a powerline. This species may have gotten to Guam from a neighboring island where it was introduced, and now is quite common on Guam. Unfortunately, it is thought by some to share some of the blame for the decline in other bird species here.

It took me some time to figure out (by using the book) that this bird I photographed on an island in the Mekong River near Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, is a female Brown-throated Sunbird.

Being used to seeing Black-billed Magpies in the high desert of Eastern Oregon, it always seems a bit incongruous to see them in the cities of Asia. This one was in a park in Seoul, Korea, and still being very much a Magpie.

But the "best" bird of my brief stay in Seoul was a new species for me. A small flock of Yellow-billed Grosbeaks landed in a tree near me, and gave me good looks at both males and females. Unfortunately, the angle of view did not allow me to get good photos.

Often in this part of the world when there are no other birds around there will at least be a Brown-eared Bulbul. This one insisted on getting my attention in Seoul.

But at Kaohsiung, Taiwan, it was the Light-vented Bulbul that got me out of bed and onto the balcony of my hotel well before it was time for breakfast.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Oriental White-eye in Kaohsiung

I'm happy to be back in Asia again for a couple of weeks, and this time made my first visit to Kaohsiung, Taiwan. As usual, not much time for birding, but a small group of Oriental White-eyes came close to me in the hotel plaza, and I was able to get a few shots.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Acorn Woodpecker storing acorns

Apparently birds, like people, will choose the easy way to do something when it's available. Not to suggest they're lazy, but this Acorn Woodpecker and a partner were storing acorns today in the slot around a window here in McMinnville. There are plenty of dead limbs in the nearby trees, but without pre-drilled storage holes.