Sunday, 25 December 2011

Christmas Day out West

The Ratchaburi rice paddy was really dead this morning on a brief trip in the continuing gloom. In the afternoon we had our Chhristmas lunch up in Suan Pueng and took a drive higher up into the mountains. This produced an aerial Shikra, I believe, a smallish light grey raptor with black primary tips and a very small head; and later a Crested Goshawk, I think, another light coloured bird, though bigger than the Shikra, with a dark terminal band on its tail. No claims being made here, I stress. I have made a mental note to explore this area again. Once you get out of the main Suan Pueng resort area, a considerable area, the road north towards Kanchanaburi becomes quite mountainous and this is where I saw these two raptor species.

On our return we took a quick spin around the Huay Mai Teng Reservoir site. I have not been here for a while and I was mindful of the fact that on Christmas Day last year I noted the presence of a flock of Small Pratincoles. Quite disappointing to notice the amount of land that has been reclaimed and developed for agriculture. Equally disappointing on the bird front. The highlight was a distant Osprey. Not a sign of a Small Pratincole but both areas where I saw them at this time last year have been changed with large dirt tracks in situ which weren't there last year.

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