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Sunday, 27 October 2013

Chestnut-cheeked, finally

The chestnut-cheeked starling is a breeding bird in Russia and Japan and listed as a scarce winter migrant to Brunei.

On Borneo these starlings are known to congregate with asian glossy starlings, and most of the recent Borneo sightings seem to be of scattered birds hidden in larger flocks of their glossy cousins. Taking the cue of scrutinizing flocks of glossy starlings resulted in loads and loads of records in the last two years of... glossy starlings. Didn't see a single chestnut-cheeked in there.

Until last week that is when my patience was finally rewarded! A casual look at a group of asian glossies close to home revealed two cheeky chestnuts up in a bare tree.
Mixed starlings
The birds were fairly high up and I had to crop the pics a little to move the chestnut-cheeked to center stage. Both the birds are males.
Chestnut-cheeked starling (Sturnus philippensis)
Not a bad looking starling.
Chestnut-cheeked starling (Sturnus philippensis)
Glad to have finally "ticked" this species on my Borneo list!

Folkert, 17/10/2013.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Garden flycatcher

The weather has been fairly consistent the last week: heavy downpour during the night and mostly overcast days. Ideal to catch some good migrants on their way south!

I, however, have been mostly occupied with much necessary tasks around the house and have had little time for birding. Luckily our garden can still be rewarding, especially during bird migration. This weekend I noticed a small bird sallying back and forth from the same branches, typical for a flycatcher.  The camera was quickly grabbed, with results below.
Dark-sided flycatcher (Muscicapa sibirica).
These shots are practically full frame and taken without the aid of a hide, the bird hardly noticed my presence. Perhaps still tired after a hard night of flying.
Dark-sided flycatcher (Muscicapa sibirica).
This is a typical juvenile bird, as indicated by the yellow gape and spotty appearance.
Dark-sided flycatcher (Muscicapa sibirica).
Not bad for a garden encounter. I assume that the bird was only passing by, it disappeared later in the afternoon and I haven't seen it since.

Folkert, 14-10-2013