Saturday, August 28, 2010

16 August 2010

Attached is a picture of a bird I've been tracking for weeks, or at least one of his relatives. It's very common here, but not much for photos. I got as close as my BB camera zoom would allow.
This bird has got an incredibly complex and weird call, and plenty of lung power. I'm trying to find out what it is. Actually, I don't care much for birds as a rule, but they are the main form of wildlife seen here, aside from the insects and the jingjoks (little salamanders that loving living indoors, it seems).
I've seen three interesting birds (plus some pigeons and what might be sparrows): the attached guy, another bird slightly smaller with a very long tail. And the occasional crane!  Imagine, cranes!  Seen 3-4.
On another note we were in Ayutthaya city yesterday (our provincial seat and former capital until around 1767, for four or five centuries). It's loaded w ruins, courtesy of the Burmese. I think it wasn't until the 20th century that Thailand realized that Ayutthaya wasn't a junk pile but a world treasure.
Anyway, we went to a temple which houses Phra Mongkol Bophit, one of the largest bronze buddha images, and has a gigantic temple "fair" area selling food and souvenirs. Just adjacent is a small elephant show and ride area. As it was Sunday, it was packed.  And whatever is happening with the world economy, there were lots of Farangs all over Ayutthaya yesterday, along w lots of locals.  The old city of Ayutthaya is on an island surrounded by three rivers. We live SW of this area. To the E and SE is the more modern part of the city. One thing is that there aren't that many places to cross the river by car, so a straight line is rarely the shortest distance between two points.  Most large streets (in Bangkok as well) are divided in the middle, perhaps to keep drivers on their side of the road, and as a consequence there are fairly frequent u-turn spots and bridges.  The road from our house, heading south, has a junction to a main highway where you can head east or south, but not west. To go west, you have to head south to the next u-turn, swing around, and then head west. It's easier to do than to describe.
Well I'll be joining the drivers here soon, so I'll let you know how that goes.

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