Sadly, I’m running out of my own photos to post. Hmmm, funny how so many birds I have taken photos of appear in my Top Fifty… Make of it what you will! I do have to admit that part of the reason is that I’m of the belief that blogs are best suited to postings that are long on visuals and short on words. So here goes 31 to 40…
31. Indian Peafowl Pavo cristatus
Everybody knows this bird and undoubtedly many will wonder why on earth I’ve included this bird in my list. All I can do is trot out that old platitude that familiarity breeds contempt! How can you go past the beauty of this bird and to see it in its natural habitat is a truly wonderful experience.
32. Griffon Vulture Gyps bengalensis
All vultures are just great and spectacular to behold! Hard to choose a favourite but I’ve chosen the griffon mainly on the basis of size. It’s been very, very sad to watch the precipitous decline in numbers over the last few years.
33. Blue-headed Pitta Pitta baudii
Another pittas?! Yes, indeed. To many birdo-types the pittas are the Holy Grail. A friend of mine, Chris Goodie spent a whole year trying, and succeeding, in seeing all the world’s pittas. Check out his slide show here. I’ve already included two pittas – one qualifies on beauty alone, the other on its enigmatic character. Blue-headed Pitta qualifies on every level! But I could equally have chosen Bar-bellied Pitta or Ivory-breasted Pitta or Gurney’s Pitta…
34. Mrs. Gould’s Sunbird Aethopyga gouldiae
There are many very fancy Asian sunbirds – they are little jewels on wings. This is yet another group where it’s hard to chose a favourite but this one qualified on the basis of its very tasteful colour scheme as well as for its name. Mrs. Elizabeth Gould never received enough credit in her short lifetime so it’s fitting that such a gorgeous creature bears her name. Please never call this bird Gould’s Sunbird!
35. Dusky Broadbill Corydon sumatranus
Is this the first broadbill? If it is, that’s a major oversight on my part. The broadbills are essentially an Asian family (with a couple of species in Africa). The Dusky Broadbill is the dullest and largest species but also one of the most social and vocal. I always enjoy meeting up with a group of them. You get the feeling they’d make great drinking buddies…
36. Sri Lanka Blue Magpie Urocissa ornatus
All blue magpies are great! And Sri Lanka is great! So that makes Sri Lanka Blue Magpie great x2…
37. Pheasant-tailed Jacana Hydrophasianus chirurgus
A Pheasant-tailed Jacana in breeding plumage padding around the water lilies… could watch them for hours.
38. Fire-tailed Myzornis Myzornis pyrrhoura
This unusual babbler sports my favourite colour, so here he is!
39. Little Forktail Enicurus scouleri
A Forktail is the emblem of the Oriental Bird Club. It’s fine choice as this small group of riparian birds allied to the thrushes are amongst the most beautiful and enigmatic in the region. They are confined to Asia. I chose Little Forktail for the added cute factor.
This photo is from the website Birding in Taiwan (the photo is uncredited). Taiwan is a brilliant place for birding with a whole bunch of very fancy endemics as well as many more widespread species that can be much more difficult to find elsewhere; Little Forktail is one of those.
40. Stork-billed Kingfisher Halcyon capensis
Just love this great bird!
And you know what, I’m almost out of ideas so I might try to make the last ten Readers’ Choice! Send me your requests, please. Let’s see if anyone really is paying attention…