Saturday, 24 November 2012

Small Pratincoles in November

The headline news from a couple of hours' birding at Huay Mai Teng Reservoir this afternoon was 175 Small Pratincoles. What a beautiful sight and personally a great morale booster. I haven't been able to do much birding lately. A lot of these birds had the most delicate peach colouring around their necks which really enhanced their appearance. I saw a solitary one in October so I now have records for every month of the year, so it would appear that Small Pratincole are not only breeding here but in fact may be resident year round. Sadly no image. They were just a little too far away and the light was very poor.

I had my son with me this afternoon though he was more interested in playing with the gravel today. In the same area as the pratincoles there was an Olive-backed Pipit, a number of Yellow Wagtails and a Little Ringed Plover. Overhead a couple of Pied Kingfishers were fishing and performing their characteristic hover prior to a rapid vertical descent for prey; a  female Pied Harrier nonchalantly flew over too. In the distant islets there was a Purple Heron and also a Grey Heron, not a bird that is seen here very often. Lots of Paddyfield Pipits too and good numbers of Green Bee-eaters.

I only heard one solitary Rain Quail today. I think there probably has been a considerable amount of displacement going on over the last few weeks; this brought on in all likelihood by the rise in water level reducing the amount of suitable habitat. Yes, the water level once more was appreciably up today. So probably the quail are on the move. A phylloscopus warbler, unidentifed beyond this genera flashed through the canopy of a tree, reminding me how much of a novice I really am, the next frontier perhaps!

As Benny and I headed home in the gloom we picked out some Lesser Whistling Duck, Common Moorhen and a Common Kingfisher. How wonderful to be out birding.

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