During the last week of July last year, I observed quite many nesting Greater Painted-snipes in my local patch, Ban Cho Lae, Chiang Mai. I found 3 nests just within one block of rice field! Each nest had 3 eggs. One of the nests was unbelievably exposed, just laying out there in the middle of open flooded field. I could just spot it from the car while driving. In fact, I spotted a female sitting on the nest laying eggs while I was driving! Don't ask if I'm a good driver.
|Male Greater Painted-snipe sitting on a nest|
|Trying to decorate the roof|
|Here's the female while laying eegs|
|Just can't believe how exposed the nest was.|
|Another nest, also with 3 eggs|
|Male bird taking a break after incubating for hours|
Because I used a hide, the birds were pretty much relaxed and I could get photos of them in different actions. Too bad, the female never showed up around the nests again after finishing her job, which was to lay the eggs, and I only observed that from my car from the distance.
|The beautiful female taken early in the morning from my car window.|
Original image is very dark and this one is heavily cropped.
|It's one of the most difficult birds to take photos for me.|
|Male bird sitting on a nest|
|Slowly wading through the water. Why?|
|Another male bird has trespassed its territory!|
They briefly engaged in a fight before the visitor fled away.
|Resting and yawning|
|Slowly creeping back to the nest|
|It circled around before actually walking up to the nest, what a tricky bird.|
|"Is it safe?"|
|"OK, safe enough. I'll walk up the nest."|
|It could sit like this for several hours then take a walk for about 10-15 minutes and come back.|
|Sometimes incubating can be so boring.|
|This was taken after I packed up my stuff and was walking back to my car.|
The owner of the nest was trying its best to camouflage.
|"I bet no one sees me."|
|Then I walked pass another nest and saw this.|
But in the end, it was an extremely sad story. I drove back to check the nests one evening and saw a farmer ploughing the whole field where nests were. I was completely stunned. My hope was to observe these nests and see small chicks growing up after the parents. Instead, all the 9 chicks never had a chance to see the world. What made it even more dramatic was a lone male bird which kept coming back to the area where the nest used to be, but was then turned into just a chunk of mud. How many times these birds had to nest and fail, I wonder.