Saturday, 4 December 2010

The Week that Was

Pied Avocet
Recurvirostra avosetta
Pak Thale, Phetchaburi Province

I am sorry some more crap photos! Better than no photo, just! Three important birds this week, one of which, the Pied Avocet, was a lifer viewed this afternoon, Saturday, on a gentle spin down to Pak Thale. My thanks to Tom Backlund for the call advising me that the avocet was here and remarkably I managed to sight it among hundreds of black-tailed godwits and a lot of black-winged stilts. The wings are much whiter than those of the stilts and it is really quite distinct notwithstanding the  bill. My Thai fieldbook describes the Pied Avocet as " หายาก" ( ha yak) which literally means "hard to find", so a bit of a rarity, but really just not very common as opposed to rare!  I would have liked to get closer not only to get a better picture but also to see its blue legs. Anyway a very nice bird for my Saturday afternoon today. The Thai name (nok bak ngorn) means "bird with a curved up bill". 

Friday late afternoon at the local rice paddy the second important bird of the week for me was an Oriental Reed Warbler which is on my list from a trip last year to The Kings Project. This time I got a decent look at it and wrote a field description of it immediately which  I subsequently matched  with pictures on the Oriental Bird Club Image Database. No photograph as my rig was in the car and I would have lost the bird if I had attempted to get it out. I was also pleased to see a solitary pied harrier hovering over the paddy which I did manage to capture above.

Black-capped Kingfisher

The third important bird for me this week was a Rain Quail seen momentarily at Huay Mai Teng Reservoir last Sunday afternoon. It showed for about 3 seconds but that was enough to see its neck, especially the black streaking, and to make me feel confident about calling it. I'll try and get a picture.I

I have been very busy this week so have only managed to snatch a little bit of birding here and there. I have been impressed by the volume of barn swallows everywhere and their exuberance and boundless energy. Everywhere I have birded this week the barnies have been out in force. I even noticed some at school where they are parking on external ledges near windows offering possibilities of some very close up photographs.

Brown-headed gulls

I missed out on a big blackish/dark gull this afternoon at Pak Thale. I tried to get it into the viewfinder and failed by which time it had gone so far that I wasn't able to get a description. It was appreciably bigger than the many brown-headed gulls which were about today. There were plenty of good birds around today but no sighting of Spoon-billed Sandpiper to report and I did have a good look at the usual site. Tom told me he didn't see it yesterday at Pak Thale but saw one at the abandoned building. 

Common Greenshank

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