Saturday, 30 January 2010


I took a spin up to Huai Mai Teng reservoir this morning as I did not have to teach. In my heart I was hoping to see rain quail. Alas no! But there were a couple of very dainty little ringed plovers which obliged in front of the lens.
Little ringed plover, charadrius dubius, Huay Mai Teng Reservoir, Ratchaburi Province, 30.01.10

The scope gave me a delightful view of seven lesser whistling ducks taking their Saturday morning constitutional on the reservoir, a very lively common kingfisher and this paddyfield pipit. There was a distant black kite hanging out on a branch and many regulars: little cormorants, little egrets, black winged stilts, barn swallows, black drongos and one solitary grey heron.  All common birds, but I like them!

Paddyfield pipit, anthus rufulus, Huay Mai Teng Reservoir, Ratchaburi Province, 30.01.10

In the afternoon we headed down to Petchaburi Province in search of raptors. There was an abundance of black kites and smaller numbers of harriers but alas the sought after eagles were high in the sky. I feel comfortable saying we saw one steppe eagle but thereafter the handful of eagles we saw will have to be recorded as unidentified. Here are some of the common birds we saw:

Oriental magpie robin, copsychus saularis, Wat Norng Blah Lai, Petchaburi Province, 30.01.10
Green bee-eater, merops orientalis, Wat Norng Blah Lai, Petchaburi Province, 30.01.10

asian openbill, anastomus oscitans, Wat Norng Blah Lai, Petchaburi Province, 30.01.10

From what  I understand the openbill is a major success story in terms of numbers. According to those in the know this bird was few and far between as recently as ten years ago. However numbers have soared in recent years and in and around the central plain it can be seen everywhere. We have a major roost nearby and there can be 5,000 birds in it at times.

Finally a silhouette of a black kite.
black kite, mulvus migrans Wat Norng Blah Lai, Petchaburi Province, 30.01.10

One of the things I  started to do with the camera today is to set the autofocus to the centre focus point only. I think this is helping me get more of my shots in focus. Now I need to master the art of taking shots of moving birds. The fun factor is high and the learning curve is relentlessly upward!

Commoners! Indeed! Nothing common about any of these birds!

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