“I returned to site the evening of 31st May, 2013 to reconcile my nest observation loss that ended abruptly. Listening to the distressing call of a parenting bird, having lost its chicks was equally heart wrenching.
“I gave the next day a miss. While still feeling hard to let go, I decided to revisit the same
location the morning of 2nd June.
“The unmistakable calls of a Blue-winged Pitta (Pitta moluccensis) rang from the forest. They sounded with more zest that morning. Maybe, I should follow up….
“3rd June morning, the same pair of B-W Pitta- Scarlet and P4 was heard blowing love calls to each other in the forest!
“Oh… wedding bells again! Perhaps… there was still time for a ‘Gretna Green’ (Border English-Scottish hamlet where lovers elope for quick exchange of wedding bands) minus the honeymoon…
“4th June morning came with rewards as Scarlet seen in bamboo grove collecting gross amounts of nesting materials (below left).
“Let’s hide behind some mixed growth of tree vegetation cum dumpsite to enjoy her morning activities through these images extracted from video (above right; below).
“Collections were done in haste as seen in these images. The choice of fresh, exposed roots of ground vegetation Scarlet tugged at with much force, provided the needed strength and roof cover framework to withstand the duration of nesting period.
“Having collected a beakful of assorted nesting materials comprising of dried foliages, twigs and fine roots, Scarlet was ready for the lift off as shown in these three sequential images (above, below left).
“Partner male P4 contributed generously to include these two images taken that same morning 1044hs. and 1117hs. respectively (above right, below).
“The resilient pair spent the whole day nest collecting and took to many flight sorties deep into the forest.
“Do join me for the chronological summary and closure in Part 14 article, ‘My Odyssey with Blue-winged Pittas’.”
Avian Writer Daisy O’Neill
17th November 2013
Copyright article and all copy images – Courtesy of Daisy O’Neill Bird Conservation Fund