Laem Pak Bia - Abandonned Building, Phetchburi Province
Greater Crested Tern
Bang Ban Kao, Phetchburi Province
We proceeded north and decided to head into the Abandonned Building at Laem Pak Bia. There was a huge flock of Black-tailed Godwits, perhaps 1500+. I have never seen so many but big flocks like this are not uncommon here. Then a group of Greenshanks grabbed my attention, ten in total one of which was an on its own own and nearer to me.(see top photo) I thought: "Bingo! These are Nordmann's Greenshanks". 75% of me still thinks this a correct call though the 25% doubt is substantial. The problem is the birds legs are in water and so it is hard to evaluate their actual size as the depth of the water is unknown. Pro Nordmann's: shape, structure: angular,stocky,"ventral", not much of a neck although that could be deceptive, no brown in the scapulars, basal half of bill is greenish. Pro Common: I could hear some calling and Nordmann's are generally silent; then I get them wrong and I just don't have the experience or knowledge to say definitively what it is. But herein is the great joy of birding, the challenge, if you like. What is it? I can't say with certainty and I am happy to acknowledge this. My call is Nordmann's. I've put some feelers out. One has come back 90% sure it is Nordmann's. We shall see. Feel free to comment!
Update 17.04.12 Thanks to Peter Ericsson and Phil Round for putting me right: it is a Common Greenshank. Peter wrote :"Bill is too long and pointed for Nordmann's. Legs are also too long" and from Phil: "Common Greenshank (breeding plumage) due to length of the legs and pointed bill."