Copyright © 2017 by Ali Bernie Buga-ay, all rights reserved. Rofous Limestone-babbler: this photograph may not be used without permission.

The birds were just like six to eight feet away from me and both of them were giving me a headache as I tried to fit one bird at a time in my viewfinder, full length of the lens extended. The excitement was double since I did not use a hide and I was just standing in front of them as covered by natural limestone structure and the temples. I lived and worked in Saraburi for six years now and I have been coming back to the limestone mountains for four years straight. I know a bout the Limestone Wren-babbler as a resident of Wat Phra Phutthabat Noi, as I have come back many times, I have seen it almost all the time as well and we have taken some sketchy photographs and that’s it as our attention was always diverted to other birds as they were easier to photograph. This is the easiest location that one can get the bird straightforward than going to Hell-fire Pass in Kanchanaburi which I have been there many times over. Today, I decided to go to the national park in which I am mapping the birds but I decided to prove and try my luck if I could get the bird midday as everybody thought that it would always be best to come in the cold morning hours and the afternoon after 3:00 o’ clock. Another joy of a beautiful bird captured in jpeg and absent enhancements.

The Limestone Wren-babbler is a resident of Wat Phra Phutthabat Noi and it has been my prospect for sometime until I decided to seriously focus on it yesterday. As pointed out by Desmond Allen, it has been split as Rufous Limestone-babbler (Turdinus calcicola) and declared VULNERABLE as its population is small and declining. The habitat where I found this bird is still safe and there are few houses around, the temple complex, farms and the massive limestone structures surrounding the habitat and to me who has been living in Saraburi for six years now and visited the location several times as my house is just twenty-five minutes from Wat Phra Phutthabat Noi; this bird will survive and I believe its population can also increase if awareness is introduced. The area is huge and the habitat supplies food and shelter to this babbler. The Thai community is not hostile to the birds as naturally they are animal lovers.

Wat Phra Phutthabat Noi, Saraburi, Thailand
Nikon D500 + Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR

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