Saturday, February 18, 2012

Returning Oriental Pratincoles and Weaving Weavers

As soon as I arrived on the patch this morning it was evident there had been an arrival of Oriental Pratincoles with at least 30 feeding high over the paddies. Most if not all Oriental Pratincoles leave Thailand during the winter months, I usually recorded the last birds during the first week of November, all probably head south to spend the winter months in Australia where in February 2004 a staggering 2.88 million birds were counted at Eight Mile Beach in north west Australia and must have included most of the worlds population. Birds return locally from mid February and apparently occupy breeding grounds from March.

Baya Weaver Nests
Also noticeable this morning was an increase in weaver activity with a small group of around 30 Baya Weavers busy weaving new nests. Small numbers of Golden Weavers were also noted around the site, the first time for several weeks, one or two were showing the first signs of coming into breeding plumage.

Black-winged Stilts

There was also an increase in wader numbers in response to several freshly flooded paddies, with 280 Black-winged Stilts, 33 Marsh Sandpipers, 18 Wood Sandpipers, 12 Little Ringed Plovers, 6 Common Sandpipers and 4 Painted Snipe including a very confiding female which was trying it's hardest to hide in the growing rice. Also noted this morning was the same Watercock as yesterday, six Purple Herons and 11 Grey Herons the highest site count for this species so far.  

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