Clearly the River Lapwing has a very strong time clock hard wired into it. I recorded it here last year on 21st May 2011, and in 2010 I observed it first in July, when it was a "lifer" and a very exciting moment as I had headed to the site simply on the basis of seeing a large area of water on a map and thinking that there must be birds here. Even if in each of the last two years the lapwing has arrived a few days before my first sighting of it I am still staggered by its reappearance at virtually the exact same time. How does it manage to do this? In fact I have so many questions: where has it come from and where will it go? Its range can be seen from this IUCN map. I also know that this species' conservation status is under review and that it may change from "Least Concern" to "Near Threatened". From what I understand it has traditionally bred on the banks of the Mekong River, Thailand's northern border; this habitat has been under considerable threat over the last 10 years. More information can be gleaned from this article at BirdLife International.
There has been a lot of rain however in the reservoir area. The road which runs across the reservoir on the west side had a small stretch that was partially submerged though still passable; last weekend it was completely clear. The rain however has left the Rain Quail feeding area submerged and today was the first occasion over the last few months when I haven't observed any. They appear to prefer dry scrub. I am sure they are still be around.
A pair of Greater Painted Snipe made a pleasant spectacle. I also sighted 3 Barred Buttonquail, a number of Indochinese Bushlarks, and lots of noisy cisticolas. There were also good numbers of Cotton Pygmy-Goose on the water - I don't recall this species being here before in such significant numbers especially at this time of the year. In the distance I could hear the distinctive rasping call of a Chinese Francolin.
I didn't take any photographs of birds today. I couldn't get close enough but I did take some shots of dragonflies which I rather like and would welcome identifications. I think my recent trip to Mae Wong has dampened my enthusiasm for photographing birds unless I am going to be able to get in close!
Same last weekend when I made a brief visit on Saturday afternoon to Wat Khao Look Chang in Phetchburi province. The sought after Black-headed Woodpecker dipped......again! A Spotted Owlet did oblige but it wasn't posing. I was a real clut and couldn't manage to shoot birds so I ended up concentrating on butterflies.
I am extremely busy at school right now. The new academic year began last week. So birding has to play second fiddle for the moment.