Tuesday, 4 January 2011

In Search of the Big Birds

A tree with at least 3 Black Kites Perched
Wat Norng Blah Lai
Phetchaburi Province

Yesterday morning, 3rd January 2011, I took a trip down to Wat Norng Blah Lai in the hope of seeing the Cinereous Vulture and also was excited by the possibility of Himalayan Griffons. Alas I drew a blank on both species but there were a few Greater Spotted Eagles hanging around and a sizeable number of Black Kites. There are at least three of the latter species in the above tree photographed on the main road. There were plenty of people around in the hope of seeing the vulture but we were all disappointed. 

Northern Pintail - female
Wat Khao Takhrao
Phetchaburi 03.01.11

I decided to head off to nearby Wat Khao Takhrao and on arrival there must have been at least 1,000 Lesser Whistling Duck sitting on the big pond. I don't care how common these ducks may be I always get a kick out of seeing large flocks of birds. I didn't take photographs as they were too far away but a scan of the pond revealed 2 Northern Pintails, females, and 5 Garganeys. Further into the pond there was also a very considerable mixed flock of Brown-headed Gulls and Caspian Terns. Bliss! A visual feast and I got my deck chair out and simply observed these birds and made a few notes and sketches.

Wood Sandpiper
Wat Khao Takhrao
Phetchaburi 03.01.11

As I sat there as happy as the proverbial pig this Wood Sandpiper came into range and allowed me to take a couple of decent shots. I headed back to Wat Norng Blah Lai at midday and there was no news of any sightings of vultures so I headed home more than content with my lot this morning.

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