Monday, 12 December 2011

The Birds of Phetchburi Province

Nordman's Greenshank
Tringa guttifer
Laem Pak Bia, 12.12.11

A long pleasant day birding in Phetchaburi province which must have the best concentration and variety of birding in Thailand. A second consecutive Monday holiday so what else can a birding teacher do?! 

Temminck's Stint
Calidiris temminckii
Laem Pak Bia, 12.12.11

The highlights were 15 Nordmann’s Greenshanks and Thai lifer, #305, Temminck’s Stint, which I caught up with at the Abandoned Building, Laem Pak Bia.

Long-toed Stint
Calidris subminuta
Laem Pak Bia, 12.12.11
In the really noticeable early morning cool Pak Thale was quite disappointing: a huge flock of Eurasian Curlews but I couldn't see any Far Eastern in their misdst; nearby a mixed flock of Brown-headed Gulls and Caspian Terns.. At 06:00h the water level was high with a high tide not due until about 08:15h so yesterday's tide must have been very high indeed.

Eurasian Curlew
Numenius arquata
 Pak Thale, 12.12.11

I headed south to the Abandoned Building in Laem Pak Bia and took advantage of the photo-opportunities provided by some small waders that came in close including the Temminck's Stint. The Long-toed Stint is a particularily good-looking bird. I would have to say the pool to the right of the building is as near as damn near possible for a sure thing in so far as Temminck's is concerned. I reckon between three and four birds of that species are hanging out there. Quite a few other birds are passing through too and there were even two Painted Stork on top of the building,  a number of egrets including the Great Egret pictured below a Wood Sandpiper, and Little Ringed Plover. The Black-tailed Godwit at the top of this blog was shot there previously. There is also a big flock of Spotted Redshank, Marsh Sandpiper and Black-winged Stilt parked in the pond adjacent to this on the other side of the track.

Caspian Tern
Sternus caspia
 Pak Thale, 12.12.11
After lunch I slowly worked my way up towards Bang Kaew. There is a massive concentration of birds about 1 kilometre north of the King's Project, with birds loading the pans on both sides of the road. Great Knot seemed to be the volume bird but in amongst this lot and notwithstanding the sun, I picked out most of the usual suspects but also 15  Nordmann's Greenshanks and 1 Ruff. The Nordmann's even gave me a little pose, not great but enough to capture a record shot.

Great Egret
Casmerodius alba
 Laem Pak Bia, 12.12.11
Bang Kaew and Wat Komnaram had no waterfowl and no sign of either Painted or Milky Stork. On a hunch I headed north to Wat Khao Takhrao and there were no waterfowl present there.

Little RInged Plover
Charadrius dubius
 Laem Pak Bia, 12.12.11
As I was in the area I drove over to the Khao Yoi Black Kite roost site and they didn't disappoint. En route I drove into a dried out fish pond and there must have been 20 - 25 kites enjoying an afternoon rest on the ground. Normally I expect to see the kites flying into the roost at a reasonably low height, a bit like the queue of planes waiting to lnad at Heathrow Airport, London; tonight a lot of the birds were dropping out of the sky from high up. I don't know if this means anything - maybe  the high birds are new arrivals. However it was an impressive spectacle as always.

A very large flock of waders

The rice is being harvested right now and this was going on in the field next to my viewpoint. By good fortune the harvester flushed the very fine looking female Watercock (below), a bird not easily seen or photographed. I was set and ready for the capture for once and this bird parked itself within range and had a good look around before shooting away. This allowed me to get a couple of shots.

Grey Plover & Great Knot
Laem Pak Bia, 12.12.11

A really excellent day's birding with a good variety of birds.

Khao Yoi 12.12.11

Black Kite
Khao Yoi, 12.12.11

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