Monday, 16 January 2012

Pied Avocet at Laem Pak Bia

Pied Avocet
Recurvirostra avosetta
Laem Pak Bia

It is Teachers Day today and we got a day off  so I headed to Pak Thale and Laem Pak Bia in the afternoon, against the tide. There were huge numbers of Curlews and Black-tailed Godwits at Pak Thale, in fact there were large number of waders in the pools towards the sea, but I couldn't make out any Spoon-billed Sandpipers or Nordmann's Greenshanks. I made some effort to seek out Spoon-billed Sandpiper in fact but sorry to say I drew a complete blank. Lots of frantically feeding Red-necked Stints which raised hopes but no sign of that famous spoon bill.

Grey Heron
Ardea Cinerea
The King's Project, Laem Pak Bia

In view of recent experiences with gulls I will never treat a flock of gulls again with indifference or disdain. They may well contain treasure!  Try as I did today, and I tried all the way down to Laem Pak Bia, but I couldn't find anything other than Brown-headed Gulls with a few Caspian Terns. I did however find a solitary Pied Avocet having a feed. I  was measuring up the front cover shot when a lorry load of workers followed by a cavalcade of motor cycles approached and I had to move as I was blocking the narrow track. The noise scared the bird away. Such is life. The Thai field guide describes Pied Avocet as " หายาก", "ha yak", meaning "difficult to see". I saw sixteen of them in the air on my previous visit. So always pleasing to see, and in this instance, photograph the rarer species. 

White-breasted Waterhen
Amaurornis phoenicurus
The King's Project, Laem Pak Bia

I went into the Kings Project looking for photo opportunities. It is strange there at the moment as the main ponds are all empty. They have been drained due to maintenance. There are still plenty of birds but not as many photo opportunities. I managed shots of a Black-capped Kingfisher, a Grey Heron and a White-breasted Waterhen: fairly common species but all definitely camera shy; hard to get close to these birds without scaring them. It's these birds which really cry out for a handheld camera with a decent lens: they are difficult to digiscope simply because they  don't allow much time.

Black-capped Kingfisher
Halcyon pileata
The King's Project, Laem Pak Bia

It simply takes one good bird to make a good day and today Pied Avocet did it for me.

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