Back in the bush

Allmänt / 2015-03-03 / 13:21:25
Since we returned from Beijing on Sunday we've been staying in the Dongzhai reserve. The beds at the Chen's house at still occupied by visiting relatives so we're going to have to stay here for another few days.
Yesterday we spent the whole day birding in the reserve, to my delight. Without mistnets that needed checking every hour we could explore a lot more of the area, which generated three new species; Rufous-bellied Woodpecker (Hypopicus hyperythrus), Brown-breasted Bulbul (Pycnonotus xanthorrhous) and Blue Whistling Thrush (Myophonus caeruleus).

Today we walked down the mountain to the main road and took a bus to Segang. The study area starts at the outskirts of town and we spent the whole day trying to check as many nests as possible. Many had been destroyed or abandoned during the last few weeks, but at least 10 nests so far have eggs. The eggs are only incubated for two weeks so some if them might be starting to hatch really soon!

This is the nest of a Silver-throated Tit (Aegithalos glaucogularis), it's been carefully built with moss, cotton and spiderweb, and the inside filled with soft feathers.

Spring is oficially here, the cherry trees are blooming! 
It feels as if more bird species are starting to show up already, today I found some Red-billed Starlings (Sturnus sericeus) mixed in with the usual flock of White-cheeked Starlings (Sturnus cineraceus) and in the afternoon an adult male Hen Harrier (Circus cyaneus) was circling above one of the rice fields, a stunning sight.
I hope that at least some migrants are going to start to appear before I leave in a couple of weeks.

When I was photographing the cherry blossoms two Palla's Leaf Warblers (Phylloscopus proregulus) were foraging in the tree. I hadn't even noticed them before one came and landed on a twig only 30 cm away from me, not wary of me at all. I never get tired of these little guys!

Today was a great day, I'm really happy to be back in the field!


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