Sunday, October 21, 2007

Chasing A Shrike, Stumbled Upon Bee Eaters

My Sunday started out like any Sunday, with me dashing off to the market to buy fresh vegetables and meat for the week.
Whilst driving home, I spied a pond with lotus plants in full bloom.Made a mental note to drive back there. After depositing the food back home, I decided to drive back out to the pond to explore the area.
The pond was nice but nothing out of the ordinary. All I got were lotus flowers in one color. Boring!Instead of heading home, I decided to walk the area to look for birds instead. I could here the tiny flower peckers up in the trees but they are hard to photograph even in the best of conditions. After about an hour of walking still nothing.
As I was heading back to the car, a movement in the trees caught my eye. Upon a closer look I discovered a tiger shrike killing off its prey but it was in a well shaded area and hard to photograph.
I followed it out into the clearing but could not find the bird. Then I noticed another bird sitting on the guard rail. A bird that I had just seen on another photographer's site on Saturday night. I found a small group of blue-tailed bee eaters and three scaly breasted munias bathing in the canal.
However, the shots of the bee eaters weren't spectacular to say the least as they were all sitting on man made structures.
I decided to head back to the area again after the family lunch was over. This time, I followed the bee eaters into the open field and was literally wading through soggy ground and carefully threading through the grass as they hid pot holes which could cause injury to limbs. I almost twisted my ankle this morning when my foot landed in a well camouflaged hole. These are much better photos but they just wouldn't let me get too close. I need the long lens again.I followed my little gang of four from one end of the field to the other but they evaded me through out.
As I was heading back to the car I spied a bird on the rail again. I was still thinking bee eaters and thought the birds doubled back but upon a closer look it was a tiger shrike.It flew off and caught a dragonfly in mid-flight and came back to feed on it. So I started and ended my discovery tour with the bird that started it all.

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