Beautiful minla

The bar-throated minla or chestnut-tailed minla (Minla strigula), is a locally common species found in highland areas from northern India to Vietnam (1). It is commonly found on Doi Inthanon, the highest mountain in Thailand, where I took these photographs.  The encounter inspired me to do a painting, using the photos of the birds against…

The Man-of-War bird

Frigatebirds are often called the pirates of the sea, because they rob other birds – such as boobies – of their catches, snatching the fish just as they return to the surface!  This blue-footed booby (below) shows how easy it would be for a frigatebird to snatch a fish – luckily for this bird, there…

Birds in a bog!

Any regular readers of this blog – if there are any – may recognise this scene, which is based on a photograph used in one of my previous blogs (Natural Places: Ang Ka Nature Trail – Doi Inthanon).  I have heard artists refer to photographs as being ‘reference materials’ (!) – but I make no…

Feisty pheasant!

I came across this bird when I visited Wat Tham Pha Plong at the base of Doi Chiang Dao, a lovely mountain north of Chiang Mai, Thailand. It was the first time I had seen a Silver Pheasant this close up; but this was no ordinary bird, it was ‘tame’ but highly aggressive. When I…

Mediterranean song bird slaughter

Prince Charles has drawn attention to the ‘barbaric slaughter’ of song birds which occurs in Cyprus during the migration season (1).  Although blackcaps are a traditional delicacy on Cyprus – where they are known as ambelopoulia – the methods used to trap them, particularly bird liming and mist netting, ensnare huge numbers of other species,…

Zebra doves: an appreciation

Zebra doves (Geopelia striata) are small ground doves found throughout South East Asia.  They are commonly seen in parks and gardens where they walk about with a slow and purposeful manner, looking for food or feeding on grass seed.  They are an attractive bird with a soft cooing call, and are frequently kept as pets…