Friday, 4 November 2016

Oriental Storks

I'm either dipping on or simply missing everything at the moment. Deterred from heading north for the weekend by a male Black-throated Thrush Turdus atrogularis in the mountains and a Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea in Au Gu, I elected to have a crack at the duck Friday, only to dip on it. After a very brief stop early morning in Au Gu, I pressed on to the Jiu Xue River in the hope of Pied Harrier Circus melanoleucos, but only managed to record six Eastern Marsh Harriers Circus spilonotus. At least the Oriental Storks Ciconia boyciana were performing well, and I left having seen a grand total of six of them. I assume these to have been a family party and that all of them are resident, and there was certainly a lot of bill-clapping and grunting coming from one of the birds (presumably the male) as they thermalled overhead, most certainly a prelude to mating.

The only other birds of note were a cracking and rather heavily-hooded immature Peregrine Falco peregrinus which I wish I had paid more attention to (as it looks quite good for race peregrinator), and a (presumed) Sand Martin Riparia riparia. Obviously, I stopped off in Au Gu on the return drive south, but drew a complete blank there once more at the second time of asking.

Saturday and Sunday remain up in the air, but I have little enthusiasm for spending either of them in Tainan! Above photos taken on the Jiu Xue River, Yunlin County 4/11/16.

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