A Brief Spin in the Local Rice Paddy

My recent discharge from hospital meant I was able to take a brief spin around the local rice paddy late this evening. It wasn’t planned so I didn’t have any binoculars but the highlight was two species of bittern: Black and Cinnamon, but not the more common Yellow. In fact as we drove along the road I pointed out to Luna, my wife, the site where I had seen Black Bittern before and commented that it is not a rare bird, but tends to skulk and rarely shows. I also reminded Luna of the fact that it was this time last year when she spotted an altogether much rarer bird, Chestnut-winged Cuckoo: at the time she pointed into the bushes andsaid:”Look I think it is just a bee-eater”!

Binoculars would have assisted greatly as there was a lot of nesting activity in the bushes that line the irrigation canals: Weavers and Plain-backed Sparrows. We saw one of distinct male Asian Golden Weaver in its unmistakable golden plumage and black throat and there were lots of Black-crowned Night-herons in the air. We saw the Cinnamon Bittern as it flew across the road and dived into the cover provided by the rice crop; and we noticed an unusual bird flying up the road; we managed to follow it to a tree where it obliging perched for long enough to enable identification;unmistakably a Black Bittern. A lifer for Luna and not a bird I see very often.

Wonderful to be able to have a cursory look at the birds again. Wonderful to be home. It will be some time before I am  100% but I am finally on the mend and I am looking forward to being able to do a little birding locally.

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