Friday, 31 December 2010

Out with the Old.....

So to the Abandonned Building, Laem Pak Bia,  this morning and apart from a huge number of Black-tailed Godwits, maybe in excess of 2,000 birds, I managed to find a Spoon-billed Sandpiper in among the Red-necked Stints. I feel very pleased about this as it is the first time I have found this fellow unaided. He was as effervescent as ever. Alas no photos as the birds were on the move and not making it easy.

I headed back to the Abandonned Building, where I had parked the truck,  and watched the Peregrine Falcon above fly in and land on its top and in fact he posed a little for me. A Thai lifer for me though I have seen it in the Philippines. I retreated to the rubbish dump in search of the Brahminy Starling. I thought I was looking at a set from Doctor Who as there were 4 greeen tents with lenses sticking out bang in the middle of a rubbish dump ....... they looked like tanks! It took me a few moments to realise the big lens photographers were on the scene and our dear Brahminy Starling was right under their noses jostling the mynas and other birds in pursuit of the food left out. I had good views for about 10 minutes but alas no photograph as it then flew off and did not return. What a beautiful bird and a lifer.

So I headed off to the Kings Project in pursuit of Long-billed Dowitcher with a spring in my step. There I met some very obliging Pintail Snipe, once more lifers and none too shy of the camera. I originally thought I had spotted a Temminck's Stint but my advisor(!), Tom Bucklund, tells me it is definitely a Long-toed Stint - pictured below

Long-toed Stint
Kings Project
Laem Pak Bia

Nearby a Black-capped Kingfisher offered a few shots. This is one of my favourite birds and species. I could look at this fellow and his ilk all day.

I passed by on the eagles and Cinerous Vulture and headed home. They can wait for another day or year! In the late afternoon I went out into the local rice paddy where I was greeted by a Common Kestrel perched on a pillar in the distance. Not the best picture I ever took but a good record shot and a  new tick for the patch.

Common Kestrel

I headed over to the other side of the paddy and had a look at the recently reported Western Marsh Harriers ..... again my advisor tells me these aren't Western but are Eastern Marsh Harriers, specifically a male juvenile. Now that I have looked at the books I have absolutely no problem with this - I got it completely wrong and if I had done my research I would have realised that a Western is something of a rarity, something to crow about....a pun!  News Year Resolution: take time in making IDs and consider the literature and ID guides.

Eastern Marsh Harrier

My Dear Readers & Viewers that is it for 2010. Let me wish you a Very Happy New Year and express the hope that you have a great year's birding in 2011. My  birding year in 2010 felt like a privilege, like I was spoiled, spoiled rotten. I have seen some truly memorable birds, been to some great places and met some excellent people. I hope to see you out there in 2011 and when I get a moment I will review the year and give you the numbers. Once more best wishes and a Happy New Year.


  1. Hi. Just found your site today. Thanks for the bird postings. One of my future trips will be kaeng krachan where I hope to video record the hornbill. I post bird videos at 'internet bird collection' for the Rokko Mountain area of Japan. Great photo of you and son. It looks so tranquil. Charlie

  2. CHarlie I expect to be in Japan next month, March, must check out the Rokko Mountains. Thailand can be so quiet and son isn't! But he is a joy.