Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Huay Mai Teng Reservoir

Oriental Pratincole
Glareola maldivarum
Huay Mai Teng Reservoir, Ratchaburi Province, 21.03.12

I never tire of Huay Mai Teng Reservoir -  the more I visit it the more I like it. On arrival this afternoon in the heat I was really in two minds about the wisdom of being out birding. I am still shaking off the lurgy and felt quite delicate. However as I drove to the water edge on the south side I picked up some water fowl in the air and they were not a familiar species. The duck situation is pretty simple here: Lesser Whistling Duck and err, more Lesser Whistling Duck. This is something which surprises me. These were not LWD with greyish heads, and a whitish upper trailing edge to the wings. I couldn't figure. I set up the scope and thought probably Cotton Pygmy-goose but they were too far away. So I decided to drive into the south side land area that is progressively growing as the water level drops. No surprises: Yellow Wagtail, Wood Sandpiper, Little Ringed Plover, Red-throated Pipit, Paddyfield Pipit, ( x2 possible Richard's but won't claim until I can get a verified photograph), hundreds of Oriental Pratincoles, and equally vast numbers of Open-bills, Little Cormorants and Herons, and good numbers of LWD.

Red-throated Pipit
Anthus cervinus
Huay Mai Teng Reservoir, Ratchaburi Province, 21.03.12

I took advantage of the light to take some shots. The Red-throated Pipit is abundant at the moment and gets reasonably close but it is difficult to capture because of incessant movement.

Purple Heron
Ardea purpurea
Huay Mai Teng Reservoir, Ratchaburi Province, 21.03.12

The Purple Heron is a testimony to the Panasonic EVF. As I moved around I was able to confirm the water fowl were Cotton Pygmy-goose which I have never seen in the main reservoir in numbers before; usually in small numbers, singles, pairs and threesomes, in smaller pools. A large Osprey was perched on a post.
Rain Quail
Coturnix coromandelica
Huay Mai Teng Reservoir, Ratchaburi Province, 21.03.12

I drove to the north side for the last of the light. On arrival I was sad to note one solitary Small Pratincole. However Rain Quail were out in numbers, at least 20, like children in the school playground. They were on a piece of recently burned scrub. It doesn't matter what camera is used when the light is fading rapidly, the birds are 30-40 yards away and they have a vigorous feeding action and lot of motion - it is impossible to get a decent photograph. But I have never seen so many Rain Quail out in the open, playing and having fun.  I was happy to enjoy the show and was well aware that if I tried to close in on them I would scare them away - so I sat and observed. They were joined by a flock of Plain-backed Sparrows and two Indochinese Bushlarks dropped out of the sky to join the fun. I am going to try and got close tomorrow in the morning if I can get up early enough. 

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