Sunday, 13 November 2011

I made it up to Huay Mai Teng Reservoir, Ratchaburi, just before daybreak this morning. It's been a  while. About two years ago, I almost drove over a group of four Black Kites having a play on the slipway into the reservoir. It could have not been more different today: the area is now completely submerged, no slipway. That is today's story: the height of the reservoir. No Black Kites today and not much else: a Common Sandpiper, a Black-winged Stilt and a Little Ringed-plover visible thanks to my head lamps.

I moved on to my normal hunting ground and heard the distinct calls of at least three Savanna Nightjars; alas no sightings. I decided to go into the forested area which was dominated by flocks of Grey-breasted Prinias foraging through the understory. I had flycatchers and Siberian Rubythroat on my mind. On discerning the movement in the understory I must confess to being a tad disappointed when the Prinias revealed themselves! However it was good to get a good look at these fellows as I reckon one fieldmark has registered, the lack of supercilium extending away from the eye, or as Robson puts it  the supercilium is  "......preocular only."

As I foraged I was distracted by the loud rasp of Chinese Francolin and went off in pursuit. However I had no recordings with me so nothing really to attempt to draw it out. I'd really like to get a shot of this bird but I am under no illusions this will require considerable guile on my part and no small amount of luck. A sandy field nearby was full of Yellow Wagtails and pipits. An Asian Brown Flycatcher was jumping around some nearby trees. No sooner was I set up and ready to shoot than off they went!

Back to the normal hunting ground to take advantage of the risen sun. The water here has also encroached significantly and in fact has cut off the scrub and bushes favoured by the Blossom-headed Parakeets and many other species. Lots of Pipits and Green Bee-eaters. Back to the launch area, little there. I was just about to photograph a Yellow Wagtail when it flew off!

 I got a sense of a lot more people in the reservoir area, lot of people camping. Perhaps Bangkok residents avoiding the flooding in favour of an extended fishing trip.

It was on my mind today that I haven't seen a Long-tailed Shrike for a long time. They are not usually falling off the branches but one or two usually make an appearance.

I didn't shoot a single frame today either. That's fine by me.

I reckon it's now time to focus on Waders and the sea. That means Laem Pak Bia and the Inner Gulf. Of course nearby Wat Norng Blah Lai will also be on the agenda and I wonder if the aquila eagles and harriers will be rejoined this year by vultures and griffons. Who knows what else will visit us this year? A mouth-watering prospect.

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