Saturday, 31 December 2011

Back at Don Hoi Lod

Little Heron
Butorides striata
Don Hoi Lod, Samut Songkhram Province 

As has been my habit during this break I went out birding this afternoon today and once more headed to Don Hoi Lod, Samut Songkhram province, in search of more rare waders. Well none today but just a pleasure to be out again birding in pleasant conditions and, of course, lots of good birds and photo opportunities.

Pacific Golden Plover
Pluvialis fulva
Don Hoi Lod, Samut Songkhram Province 

The Whimbrel flock, about 90 birds today but that number was swelling with arrivals, were in the same place as before and I attempted to get close. I managed to get very muddy but made it to some cover; no sooner did I point my lens than off the pack went! How inconsiderate! I did however manage to get reasonably close to a Pacific Golden Plover. There were loads of Common Redshanks about: this must be the most common species in the area.

Collared Kingfisher
Todiramphus chloris
Don Hoi Lod, Samut Songkhram Province 

I got a look at the sea this afternoon which isn't always possible in the area as there is extensive mangrove. I had fun with this pair of Collared Kingfishers. A group of local boys were very interested in what I was doing. I became a school teacher for a few minutes and told them to be quiet! Especially when I did it in Thai! They were amazed when I showed them the images of the Kingfishers through the loupe on my LCD. In turn I was amazed when they told me it was a "pee-u"; these kids actually knew its name. "Pee-u" is its Thai name from "nok-geen-pee-u"(นกกินเปี้ยว) and that translates as something like "the bird that eats a type of crab", (viz, the fiddler crab or Ocypodidae uca dussumieri ).

They loved the Little Heron as much as I did and they also obeyed my entreaties once more to be be quiet and this time to sit still as I went in to take the shot. Fortunately the Little Heron was completely focused on its next meal: this meant it was very still. The boys called the bird a "punk"!

Greater Sand-plover
Charadrius leschenaultii
Don Hoi Lod, Samut Songkhram Province 

I then headed back to my happy hunting ground but this time no big surprises. Lots of plovers, huge numbers of Common Redshanks, many Marsh Sandpipers, a small flock of Brown-headed Gulls, some Common Greenshanks and a fair few Black-tailed Godwits. But none of them came in close today!

So folks, that's it for 2011. Let me wish you and yours a very Happy New Year. May it continue throughout the year and most of all enjoy your birding.

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