While I love this blog, I now pretty much only write on my other two blogs: BirdingBlogs.com and 10,000 Birds - I would love to see you there!

Friday, 19 June 2009

White-crowned Penduline-Tit at nest

On our final day in Kazakhstan, we headed out of Almaty towards China and in to the deserts and semi-deserts of the region. After a couple hours' drive (which does not get you very far in Kazakhstan), we stopped at a little stream through some recently ploughed fields.


Strolling about, I ducked off in to the riparian woodland to see if I could get closer to a Lesser Grey Shrike when a tiny little White-crowned Penduline Tit popped up in to the bush above me. It didnt take me long before I found the nest. So we moved off a little and let the adults move in to the nest while we sat at the ready with our digiscoping gear.

White-crowned Penduline Tit (Remiz coronatus coronatus, Kronenbeutelmeise)

I managed to get a few nice digiscoped photos of this gorgeous little bird, but as the others left back for the car, a penduline tit came back and sat up beautifully for me. At which point the dinky compact camera got turned on to video move - the videoscoper in me coming out ;-)



One of the fascinating thing about Penduline Tits is that they have such huge nests because the top portion of the nest is a fake nest and the real nest is on the bottom story hidden below a trap door. In the video, you can see the penduline tit lift up the trap door flap with its bill just before entering the nest.

Lesser Grey Shrike (Lanius minor, Schwarzstirnwürger). Enjoying the mosquitos as much as we were? I wonder...

Singing Red-headed Bunting (Emberiza bruniceps, Braunkopfammer).

Happy birding
Dale Forbes


15 comments:

Gaelyn said...

Awesome captures as always Dale. Love the video of the Tit.

corey said...

And then there are those of us who did not get a picture or a video of the tit...sigh.

But I love that video!

Chris said...

Hi Dale,
Beautiful capture of the paruline... I love it, around the nest, it is wonderful.. Well done!

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Lovely video Dale and an interesting way to built a nest. That shrike is so much like ours isn't it.

Dale Forbes said...

thanks Gaelyn. It was great to get to see a penduline tit using its fancy trap-door nest.

Corey, one of the two of us got to have a Himalayan Rubythroat perch up right in front of them!!! I think that more than evens it up ;-)

Hi Chris. thank you. what is there to not love about it.

Joan, not surprised you recognized it. It is not just similar, it is the same species. I seem to think it was fairly common in the southern part of Kruger in the summer months so you must have seen tons of them then. but then again, in summer there are also the jackie hangmans, the whitecrowned shrikes (Crocodile Bridge camp), Longtailed Shrikes, redbacked shrikes (also here in europe), and then there are all the Tchagras, boubous, bushshrikes and helmetshrikes! what a wonderful suite of species.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

LOL!! You can't say we don't have wonderful birds here can you? When I still worked thre I could ID about 260 of them.

Wren said...

Fascinating info about the nest. I've heard of birds using similar strategies, but didn't know that was the case for this particular bird. What fun to have the video as well as the still photos - I think we're learning quite a bit about bird behavior just because there's so much more video of them available.

Dale Forbes said...

I cannot agree more, Wren. I think that digiscoping and videoscoping are the biologist's dream - if only I had access to this stuff a few years ago.

I try not to think about it too much, though ;-)

gwendolen said...

Very interesting info about the nest, Dale. Very cool videoscope :-)

The Red-headed Bunting is really gorgeous.

Dale Forbes said...

Hi Gwendolen, going out there I was hoping to see a Redheaded Bunting but hadnt even dreamed of finding a penduline tit, let alone an occupied nest (and filming it!)

the bunting is called the "Brown headed Bunting" (Braunkopfammer) in German - it seems German and English ornithologists see colours differently.

Bob and Cynthia Kaufman said...

Wow! The video was just great! The photos are lovely, too!

Larry Jordan said...

Truly incredible captures of the Penduline Tit Dale! I really like the second photo, with the bird looking away, but the video takes the prize! To actually get to watch this bird's behavior from my chair, in my room is a real treat! Thanks Dale.

Dale Forbes said...

Hi Bob, Cynthia and Larry.
I'm glad you enjoyed the video - I REALLY enjoyed making it!
I have a whole pile more movies ready to post over the next few weeks (this time in HD) so stop by and have a look.

Dale

dAwN said...

Thanks Dale..
enjoyed both images and video!The nest building was fun to watch!
Thanks alot!

Kyle said...

Wonderful captures, Dale. I especially liked the video -- what a cool nest!