Sunday, 11 November 2012

Another Good Day

Is there such a thing as a bad day's birding? Clearly some days are better than others. But is there such a thing as a bad day? I think not but today I nearly had one at Don Hoi Lod in Samut Songkram. The  Thais call this area "Meklong"; the eponymous  river connects here with the Gulf of Thailand. I had a strong desire for waders and this area is probably the nearest bit of coast to my home. I set off mid-afternoon in stifling heat. It's been unusually hot these last few days in Thailand, given that it is now the cool season.

Don Hoi Lod  didn't disappoint in terms of birds with lots of Common Redshanks, Common Greenshanks, Pacific Golden Plover, Long-toed Stints, Whimbrel, lots of Lesser Sand-plovers, a good number of Brown-headed Gulls, all the usual suspects you might say. Of course all were out of range!

So I decided to try and get some shots of kingfishers. I set up the hide in a place I know Collared and Common Kingfisher like to feed. The presence of a Collared perched on a post was the motivation. No sooner was I set up that the bird flew! I gave myself an hour in the hide but it didn't return nor did any Common, one of which I had seen perched nearby. As a much needed deluge closed in I decided to head home. No sooner had I got the hide in its carry case than a Collared Kingfisher flew in and perched where I had my lens trained! I scrambled to set up the tripod and get the scope on it but no sooner was I set up than off it went! 'This is a bad" I was starting to think.

As I reached the main road it was clear that a major storm was imminent. I looked up into the dark, foreboding sky, periodically streaked with lightning. There were a lot of raptors kettling high in the sky. I stopped the car got out with my bins and I would say there were between 30 - 40 Brahminy Kites. Brahminy is reasonably common in and around coastal areas but usually in small numbers. I''ve rarely seen more than two and never this number. I wonder what if anything is the significance of this high count. They appeared to be heading south so possibly some migration. I really don't know.

But really that makes it a good day: being able to see something like this, something new, something unexpected. At about 1700h it got very wet, and very windy so I legged it home.

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