About the size of a domestic hen, the Greater Coucal is common around rural new territories. It’s a clumsy, amusing and likeable bird, more usually heard crashing around the undergrowth or calling a deep ‘poomb-poomb-poomb’. When it does decide to fly (when humans get too close for comfort), it flies about as well as a chicken and collides with vegetation not too far away. It can give a walker a fright, if it sees you before you see it.
Head above the bush, Centropus sinensis – the Greater Coucal. Probably the world’s largest cuckoo.
Preparation for take-off
A quick check of the route…
…and it\’s off to the next bush
Undoubtedly a much better bush than the last one
At the other end of the size scale, the Spotted Munia (Lonchura punctulata), which is about the size of a Sparrow. Munias are friendly little birds, I\’ve found myself being closely followed by a small flock which kept pace with me for several minutes.
And as we\’ve neglected sunsets, here\’s one behind a flock of Munias in pampas grass
Magpie Robin (Copsychus saularis)
Saddlebag Glider (Tramea virginia)
Common Bluebottle (Graphium sarpedon)
Common Segeant (Athyma perius)
Common Tiger (Danaus genutia)
Crimson Darter (Crocothemis servilia servilia) female
Common Mime (Chilasa clytia)
Blue Pansy (Junonia orithya)
Plum Judy (Abisara echrius)
Five-dot Sergeant (Limenitis sulpitia)
Aerial coupling – please don\’t attempt this at home, unless you are a dragonfly
You can never have too many photos of peasants working the fields
Coupling pair of Common Sailers (Neptis hylas)
Straight Five-ring (Ypthima lisandra)
Wandering Glider (Pantala flavescens)
Munias. Lots of them. All watching me, watching them. If they were any bigger it would be spooky.
Angled Castor (Ariadne ariadne)
Indian Cabbage White (Pieris canidia)
Common Tree Brown (Lethe rohria)
Red-based Jezebel (Delia pasithoe)
Purple Sapphire (Heliophorous phoenicoparyphus)
Crimson Dropwing (Trithemis aurora)
Common Blue Skimmer (Orthetrum glaucum)
Marsh Skimmer (Orthetrum luzonicum) male. This dragonfly was quite content to sit and be closely examined. It\’s compound eyes were stunning.
Blue Dasher (Brachydiplax chalybea flavovittata)
Probably the dandiest ecologist in the closed border area
An illegal immigrant slips under the border fence by night. Asiatic Painted Frog (Kaloula pulchra pulchra)
Paddy Frog (Rana limnocharis)
And another, this one with a stripe.
Gunther\’s Frog (Rana guentheri)
Brown Tree Frogs (Polypedates megacephalus), like buses, there are none, and next thing you know…
Many-banded Krait (Bungarus multicinctus multicinctus) – highly venomous
A large millipede, about 15cm long