Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Eurasian Thick-knee at the Reservoir

Eurasian Thick-knee, Eurasian Stone Curlew, Indian Thick-knee
Photographs © Soorng Yingtao
Huay Mai Teng Reservoir, Ratchaburi Province

On Sunday I had the pleasure of showing Soorng Yingtao, an ex-pat Chinese birder around my beloved Huay Mai Teng reservoir. I only had a couple of hours due to family commitments but we managed to see 6 River Lapwing, a fair few Oriental Skylarks, at least 100 Small Pratincoles. I drove Soorng around the reservoir and pointed out where he might be able to see species and then had to leave. I am delighted to say Soorng managed to see a pair of Rain Quail but the undoubted highlight must be his discovery of a Eurasian Thick-knee, a major find and a big tick for the patch; not only discovery but also some photographs. Of course I missed out! But I hope this bird is going to be around as it is unlikely to be a migrant in June. Once more the reservoir delivers a great bird and a great credit to Soorng for being prepared to go off the well worn track to try his luck.

It was a great weekend at the reservoir. Plenty of River Lapwing and more Small Pratincoles in evidence that at any time this year. Good numbers too of Oriental Skylark and everything else including large numbers of Oriental Pratincoles. The Rain Quail are about but not as abundantly as before - after an hour of graft I managed to sight one pair briefly and while searching for the thick-knee managed to flush another pair at another part of the site.

Soorng Yingtao

It was a strange sort of weekend. I went into Bangkok on Saturday to by some filtering film in order to be able to use my telescope on Wednesday morning when it will be possible to watch the Transit of Venus, a major astronomical rarity. I decided to head to Putthamonthon Park for a bit of birding only to discover the park was teeming with tens of thousands of white-clad pilgrims assembled to mark the Buddha's birth and enlightenment. It took 45 minutes to make a u-turn and exit the park when I realised birding would be a non-starter! So I headed home and stopped aty the local lotus farm and did a little digiscoping in the last light of the day. Some recently born Ashy Woodswallows, with mother nearby.

And lastly a completely new dragonfly, another beauty. Please feel free to identify it as I don't have a clue!

Ryothemis phyllis
Thanks to Sebastien from Vietnam Birding for this ID


  1. Anonymous08 June, 2012

    Hi Gerry. Glad to watch birds with you in Hua Mateng Reservoir. Thanks!
    Song Yingtao

  2. Hi Gerry,
    Dragonfly is Ryothemis phyllis