After exactly 3 long months of only being able to bird from home I was finally able to go birding away from home on Saturday morning! We left by 5:30 in order to not miss to much of the early morning bird movement, and even as we were biking on the roads getting close to New Vision I was seeing birds I hadn’t seen in months like: Red-collared Doves and some faraway bitterns in flight. As soon as we turned onto the little dirt road where we normally park our bikes I was seeing birds everywhere! Everything was a vibrant green, totally unlike Dhaka, and very refreshing!
We started for the path we normally take with short stops by some of the ponds where we saw a Yellow Bittern straight away, had brief views of a Cinnamon Bittern, several Bronze-winged Jacanas, Striated Grassbirds, Baya weavers, and two Chestnut Munias were our first year bird! We met a local farmer as we tried to make our way to the trail we normally take, but he warned us to be careful of “boro shap” (big snakes) and cut a few stick for us to hit the high grass in front of us. The trail was completely overgrown with grass up to our waists and after a few minutes of wading through it while whacking with our snake sticks we gave up and decided to try the trail by the villagers’ houses because that should be open. I never enjoy going that path as much because one reason I love being out here is just getting away from people, but if that trail was passable it was worth it.
On the short several hundred yard bike ride to the other trail I was distracted by a Long-tailed Shrike diving into the grass then flying up and going off to feed its young which were perched on a nearby tree. No photos of this sadly since my camera isn’t working and Nic wasn’t nearby with his. I soon caught up with the others and we locked up our bikes and went down the other trail which was in much better condition. There were butterflies and dragonflies everywhere as well as plenty of birds!
A fun surprise was a Black Bittern flushing from somewhere right along the path. They’re usually quite elusive and hard to see even though they’re breeding residents here, but we soon discovered they were very active today! This was year bird #2 for the day and #206 for the year!
Baya Weavers were everywhere along the beginning of the path, along with a Tricolored munia which was another year bird!
Sadly, we saw some more deaths from the netting the villagers put up over the fish ponds.
As we followed the trail to the largest pond which by now is full again after being nearly completely dry when I last went in March, we found a large flock of at least 50 Asian Palm Swifts. There were also lots of bulbuls on a bare strip of ground alongside the path.
After checking the entrance to the tree row where I’ve seen Brown Boobook, we decided not to try to go through it since the grass was pretty high and looked like another great place for snakes! We started down the path leading to where I found a rare Streak-throated Swallow last year, but I soon got very very sidetracked when I discovered all sorts of cool insects in the low plants along the path. So I spent the next 20 minutes carefully going through photographing all the insects I could while Nic ate chanacur (spicy local snack mix) and kept an eye out for birds. While I was looking for insects I caught a glimpse of a bird that turned out to be a Pied Cuckoo, the last year bird for the day and #208 total.
If you’re not interested in awesome insects then you can skip down to the bottom, but otherwise enjoy!
The skippers were pleasantly common which was nice since I’ve somehow never gotten photos of one before! They’re quite difficult to ID and you need upperwing shots, which of course the first one wouldn’t let me get…
**end of insect section for those who skipped 😉 **
We saw Black Bitterns fly out of and into a swampy area several times and wonder if they’re breeding there, but sadly there were some farmers cutting the grass there, so hopefully the bitterns will be fine.
As it started getting warmer around 9:20 we decided to start heading home since we’d already had almost 3 and a half hours of good birding and a grand total of 47 species!
eBird checklist: https://ebird.org/checklist/S70620538
All in all, a very good day out with four year birds, a new damselfly and butterfly, lots of other cool insects, and lovely cool weather for June!
And to sign off, here’s an obligatory shot of one of the resident Golden Jackals.