Saturday, February 4, 2012

28th January 2012 - Spoon-billed Sandpiper

Early hours of the morning at Survanbhumi Airport Bangkok where collected Paul Lee and Rosemary Vortier of L.V.S PRODUCTS (, designers and suppliers of Scopac the excellent backpack for tripods. Paul and Rosemary were on a four day stopover on their way back from Australia to the UK, the main aim during these four days was to see Spoon-billed Sandpiper. Our first night was spent in Bangkok at the newly  renovated Bay Hotel after just a few hours sleep we headed south towards Phetchaburi. First stop was at the Bang Nong Pla Lai raptor watch point, though a little early for most of the big raptors to be in the air we did managed to see a reasonable selection of species including Pied Kingfisher, up to 25 Black Kite, several Eastern Marsh Harrier, 1-2 Greater Spotted Eagle and Thick-billed Warbler.

After a brief stop for breakfast in Phetchaburi we headed straight for the coast, first stop was Pak Thale where within 10 minutes Rose found our first Spoon-billed Sandpiper feeding with Red-necked Stints on a drying salt pan. During the heat of the day we checked into our hotel at the Thai beach resort of Cha-am for the first of our three nights here. Later in the afternoon we returned to the Pak Thale/Laem Pak Bia area, best sightings during the rest of the day were a second Spoon-billed Sandpiper near the abandoned building at Laem Pak Bia, along with good numbers of other waders including hundreds of Black-tailed Godwit, Marsh Sandpiper, Red-necked Stint, Curlew Sandpiper and smaller numbers of Great Knot, Long-toed Stint and Broad-billed Sandpiper. Non wading birds seen during the day included Collared Kingfisher, Slaty-breasted Rail, Caspian and Gull-billed TernLittle Heron and good numbers of Eastern Yellow Wagtail.

Over a well earned cold beer, early evening spent doing the checklist of species seen today, followed by an early night to catch up with some sleep.

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