Monday, 18 January 2010

Asian Waterbird Census 2010

Such is my commitment to the cause that Saturday I spent the day at BCST 's training in Samut Sakhorn, just to the west of Bangkok for this year's Asian Waterbird Census. It was conducted in Thai with excellent visuals which helped enormously. My Thai is better than most but it wasn't up to this level! I did learn the Thai word for a species! I also learned how to distinguish black-headed gull from brown-headed but, alas, a lot of work needed on terns! The best link to the AWC is probably here on Wetlands International site.

I enjoyed the day enormously. I was impressed to see that over 100 or so mainly young people under 30 had come forward to help in the census and with luck some of them will get the fever! I believe I was the only westerner there. It was also nice to catch up with some of the BCST staff who took us to Khao Yai before Christmas.  Plus I managed a couple of hours birding in nearby Kok Kham which is right on the Inner Gulf and is a major shorebird centre. Lots of bar-tailed godwits, brown headed gulls, lesser sand plovers, curlew sandpiper, broad-billed sandpiper, common greenshank,  common redshank, great egret, little egret but no rarities and no spoon-billed sandpiper! However I got a good tour of the Kok Kham site, a major shorebird area, thanks to some BCST members. This will be invaluable when I return on my own.

Once more a great reminder of the accessibility to and proximity of an excellent shorebird location a little over one hour's drive from home.

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