Thursday, November 8, 2012

Gone Fishing! 翠鳥

Taiwan is a heaven for winter birds and it's also an important stopover for birds of Siberia, northern China, Japan or Korea while migrating to Africa and Australia. It's not surprise to see uncommon or vagrant birds throughout the year. I have been wanting to visit this park, "Dahu Park" for a while. I finally got an escape from all the engagements.  It normally would take more than 2 hours bus ride, with MRT in service, it only took me 45 minutes. It was a short walk from the subway station to the park. The first thing you will see is this iron gate with two egrets welcome your visit. Does that tell me something?

Common Kingfisher, male, Dahu Park, Taipei

I'd like to take my time and to get myself  used to this new place. Besides magpies, treepies and Yellow Wagtails, waders and ducks can be seen all over the park.  I found nothing but surprise after another surprise in three hours visit. While sitting under a willow tree for my lunch break, I noticed I wasn't the only one eating lunch. This small aqua blue kingfisher caught my attention. He was sitting on a rock and looking into the lake attentively. I quickly stuffed my sandwich in my pocket and zoomed in my camera to this tiny creature.

Like most kingfishers, Common Kingfishers are highly territorial, stay alone during non-breeding season.  They fly low above water, will dive into water, prey for small fish, then return to the same location to enjoy their meals. They feed and breed along banks of fresh water, therefore become an important indicator for a healthy stream or river. I am happy to know there are still some clean lakes in this over-populated city :) -- Happy Birding! -- Linda

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