On the morning of 20 February 2013, saw me birding along the boardwalk around Chiang San Lake, Chiang Rai. The lush vegetation surrounding the lake was filled with plenty of warbling songs since most of the migrating warblers were already in their spring migration mode and were beginning to sing their hearts out. At least 2 Pallas’s Grasshopper Warblers were spotted and it was the first time for me to really get some decent shots of this elusive species.
Out of all the shots that I took that morning, this was my most favourite. It perfectly shows the lush habitat where the bird was dwelling in a very pretty lighting condition.
Even though the birds were unusually showy for their standards, they were still considerably shy.
It was also the first time for me to hear their unusual song. You can listen to the song here.
I really had a great time watching and taking photos of them. Locustella warblers are definitely my most favourite group of warblers. Recently, the Asian members of Bradypterus have also been moved into Locustella as well.
Asian (former) Bradypterus and Locustella warblers both share some major characteristics such as long undertail coverts, similar bill and body structure, as well as overall behaviour. The Asian members of Bradypterus also look much different from their African counterparts. That’s why I also agree with the recent change in taxonomy.
Showing the streaked mantle and rusty uppertail coverts.
Another species of warbler that was showing equally well or even better around the lake was the Black-browed Reed Warbler. There were 3-4 birds singing and chasing each other in the same area where I was photographing the grasshopper warbler. At times, they would come even closer to me than the grasshopper warblers but I was focusing so much at the grasshopper warblers that I ended up having just a few photos of the Black-browed Reed Warblers.
I definitely have to go back there again when I get back to Thailand in March. This should be the prime time for taking photos of these LBJs since they’d be even more vocal and showy. Hopefully, there will be some other species and I will have more time to spend around the lake as well.