When: February 2015 Weather warm: 25C
Sony A55 70-400mmG lens
With Chinese New Year just round the corner, we nipped off to the oft forgotten Botanic Gardens to see if we could find the Hooded Pitta which many birders had posted about in the last couple of weeks. Whilst I’d seen the blue winged and mangrove pitta last year, I’d never seen the Hooded before…
I wandered around the BG a couple of days ago and only found…
a beautifully perched collared kingfisher
oriental magpie robin
it sang merrily to its mate…guess valentine’s day was in the air
then I saw something very well camouflaged on the ground in the healing garden where I’d seen the mangrove pitta last year..
It turned out to be a spotted dove spreading its wings over the leaf covered ground..wonder if there were eggs there…
then having got more information as to where the Hooded pitta was to be found, we made our way to the ginger garden where a few other photographers were gathered around and….the first bird to appear was the female Siberian Robin
female siberian blue robin
slightly closer in
the early bird did get the worm
try as I might, I just couldn’t see any hint of blue on the rump..still it was great to get a lifer
And eventually we saw a flash of colour….
a flash of colour skulking behind the leaves..
eventually he deigned to emerge…still in the shadows with barely enough light to shoot him…yes, the elusive Hooded Pitta..my second lifer of the day 🙂
Main difference from the blue winged and mangrove pittas is the green breast vs rufous orange breast in the others and the dark chestnut crown, nicely seen here…
the blue winged pitta for comparison…note the prominent buff lateral stripe just above the eye which distinguishes it from the mangrove pitta
Here the heavier beaked mangrove pitta with less prominent buff lateral coronal stripe above eye
The Hooded Pitta getting the worm made this a good start to the Chinese New Year festivities 2015