We all like to find rare birds and species that we have not seen before but sometimes it is worth going back to basics and taking time to look closely at some of the common birds that can be seen frequently. Too often many bird watchers will breeze past the common birds forgetting that these species are frequently beautiful and have interesting behaviour to observe.
While taking photographs of birds to use on my websites I have taken more time to look in detail at species that I see all the time and it has been interesting to notice subtle details in plumage on a number of common shorebirds and several other superficially “dull” birds.It occurred to me that this Red Collared Dove would be an extremely exciting bird if it were a rarity; it is a beautiful and strikingly coloured bird with interesting courtship behaviour, but as it is so common it hardly gets a look from most birders in Thailand. Another common dove – Zebra Dove – also falls into this category and it is worth taking time to look at its highly intricate plumage – it may be the first time you have bothered to do so?
Recently I was hanging around on Doi Lang trying to get close to common birds there and I noticed a number of things about species such as Grey-cheeked Fulvetta, Mountain Bulbul, Mrs Gould’s Sunbird and others that I have never really observed before. How many birders in Thailand have noticed that there are at least 3 easily recognizable subspecies of Ashy Bulbul to see in frequently visited national parks?
The other thing to remember is that hanging around enjoying the common birds is often when the rarities turn up!