I had a frustrating day with my new camera and with trying to get in close to the ducks in the Wat Khao Takhroa area in Phetchburi province, but I did see three Greater Spotted Eagles at Wat Norng Blah Lai. They were just too far away to get a usable shot but the adult was quite magnificent perched on the branch of a dead tree. Chaiyan Kasorndorkbua, one of the leading lights of the Thairaptor Group , was present and he confirmed that Greater Spotted and Imperial Eagles have been recorded in recent weeks but the Steppe Eagle's return is still awaited. Chaiyan confirmed a Slender-billed Vulture had been observed on 17th November 2011 but hasn't been seen since. An Eastern Marsh Harrier put on a grandstand show for us but I couldn't get the bird in my viewfinder: I really needed the diopter loupe today because the sun was too strong.
During the week I have been researching on Google Earth how to best access the duck location at Wat Khao Takhrao. Sadly to no avail today but I reckon that having been there today and had another look at Google Earth on return home I am now close to cracking it. From the main road with my scope I can confirm there were still huge numbers of ducks - Garganey,Lesser Whistling Duck and a few Northern Pintail.. But there may well be other species - they are just too far away to make out. Interestingly the Painted Stork were down from about 250 to two! No sign of Black-headed Ibises today.
As I was driving around on the dirt tracks in the fishponds I stopped briefly to try to photograph a Common Kingfisher. In fact I soon learned there were at least 4 and possibly as many as 6 of them in this small area, apparently playing in pairs. What's worse they were not posing for my new camera! I have never seen so many Common Kingfishers together; normally a solitary bird.
I might have taken some great shots today with a 400 mm lens! I'll definitely need to get the diopter loupe back into use. Some practice needed with the P6000. You may have noticed no photographs today - well I have some shots but I am really not happy with them so I'll sneak this one in here of a Greater Spotted Eagle..