Sunday, 15 November 2015

Sa Pa in autumn

This weekend I went to Sa Pa, because the weather forecast said the weather was going to be beautiful and because in Hanoi it was going to be mediocre. Well, Sunday it rained in Sa Pa and Hanoi was sunny. But Saturday was bright indeed. Even so, there were only 4 species still around. Anax nigrofasciatus and Ceriagrion fallax were two of these. Really common still was Sympetrum hypomelas. And Palpopleura sexmaculata was also still about. One mature male, but also a freshly emerged female, which was a bit of a surprise.

Birds were actually much more interesting. I ran into a Wood Snipe at a swampy woodland at 2000m along a small stream, which was a lifer for me and a really rare and difficult bird. That surely made up for the weather and the lack of dragons. The "tricolor" subspecies of Long-tailed Shrike was another surprise.

The male of Sympetrum hypomelas is a stunning creature.
Yet another one

When in the morning of Sunday the sun was still out, I climbed a mountain side without my camera and bumped into this female. So I took a photo with my telephone. Not too bad. I did not know the females turned this red late in the season, but they do. The red is restricted to the dorsal area between the lateral stripes on the abdomen.

Male Palpopleura sexmaculata. This species is awkward to take pictures of in close-up, because they keep their bodies at an angle and also drop their wings forward. This is not too bad.

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