Pulau Mantanani: 24 October 2015

Today was Mike and Yann’s last day on the island, which meant that I would have to compensate for losing two pairs of sharp eyes for the last few days of my stay! Having missed Metallic Pigeon on the first day, Yann concentrated on the west end of the island, and was successful not only in seeing a Metallic Pigeon but also getting some very close photos of Tabon Scrubfowl. Meanwhile, Mike and I focused on turning up new migrants. Two sightings of Pied Imperial-Pigeons were  a new island tick and a much-wanted year tick for me – relief! We also had a Chinese Egret foraging in the bay on the north-west coast.

It was soon clear that not much new had arrived, so it was mostly a matter of seeing the same birds from the previous days. Having said that, we did manage to dig up a Tiger Shrike, which we had not seen before. There were two ‘that got away’ today. Yann had brief views of a possible Dusky Warbler, and when I went to look for it, I glimpsed a small dark brown rail or crake deep inside  a dense tangle of undergrowth. Oh well! Can’t nail down everything!

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One of the two ‘old’ Taiga Flycatchers still present was still foraging on the beach

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Or in the nearby casuarinas

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One of five Grey-streaked Flycatchers, enjoying scenic views on the beach too!

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The same Grey-streaked Flycatcher

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A juvenile Dark-sided Flycatcher was also on the beach!

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Two of these were possibly fresh in since yesterday.

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Structurally, they are very different from Grey-streaked, looking tubbier and smaller-billed.

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Looking huge by comparison, there were 5 Asian Brown Flycatchers.

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The bill is the largest and broadest of the three.

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There were also a couple of Blue-and-White Flycatchers present, and I managed to get reasonably close for the first time today.

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The tone of the blue looks quite different depending on the lighting. It’s the same bird in both photos.

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Six Red-throated Pipits were still on the football field.

There were five Arctic Warblers and a Japanese Leaf Warbler still about, but no sign of the Willow Warbler.

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Four Sand Martins were counted…

 

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But only 1 Red-rumped Swallow.

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Raptors continued to move through in small numbers from mid-morning.

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There were four Japanese Sparrowhawks…

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Including this one hunting from a perch

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3 Grey-faced Buzzards (pic) and 2 Chinese Sparrowhawks

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Two of the three Kentish Plovers still present on the Point.

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Frigate birds are a constant feature, and today they were a bit closer than usual. A nice comparison of adult male Lesser…

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…and Christmas Island Frigatebirds

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Some more Lesser Frigatebirds…

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The size difference is always obvious when the two species are together.

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And some Christmas Islanders!

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