Monday, October 15, 2012

Coastal Scrub

Yesterday after a big family meal in Bangkok we headed south towards Phetchaburi, to check out some hotels for a forth coming birding trip to the area. The plan was to stay one night in Phetchaburi and then bird along the coast towards Cha-am, via Pak Thale and Leam Pak Bia, heavy rain this morning from dawn till mid day soon put an end to this idea, so we headed directly to Cha-am. By mid afternoon the rain had stopped and skies cleared, so I headed to a nearby lake and scrub on the edge of Cha-am for a couple of hours.

Lake Cha-am

Though there was nothing special present, as usual there was plenty of birds to maintain interest. Good numbers of Open-billed Storks, Great, Little, Cattle and Intermediate Egrets fed along the lakes edge, at least eight Little Bitterns, two Purple Herons, nine Night Herons and a single Striated Heron were also recorded.  

Open-billed Stork

Numerous squabbling Purple Gallinules were present, along with a few Moorhen, Ruddy-breasted Crakes and a Slaty-breasted Rail. Out on the lake a few Little Grebes and 50 Lesser Whistling Duck were present, with 20 Whiskered Terns skimming the surface.The only waders present were a Common Sandpiper and four Red-wattled Lapwing. Kingfishers were well represented with Common, Pied, White-breasted, Black-capped and Collared all noted.

Peaceful Dove

At least a hundred Peaceful Doves were feeding around the lake, with smaller numbers of Red-collared Doves. Common Iora, Pied Fantail, Zitting Cisticola, Yellow-vented and Streak-eared Bulbuls were all fairly common in scrub, along with smaller numbers of Taiga Flycatchers, Yellow-browed Warblers, Plain Prinia, White-rumped and Scaly Munia.

Streak-eared Bulbul.

Apart from good numbers of Oriental Reed Warblers, the only other warblers noted were single Dusky, Black-browed Reed and Thick-billed Warblers. A Barred Button Quail was flushed and as usual disappeared immediately, but single Wryneck, Hoopoe and Brown Shrike all showed well. Both Richard's and Paddyfield Pipits fed alongside each other, on one of the dirt tracks and gave a great chance to compare what was once a single species.   

Plain-backed Sparrow

Good numbers of Little Green Bee-eaters and Ashy Wood Swallows fed from roadside wires and small numbers of Plain-backed Sparrows were also present. High overhead huge numbers of swiftlets presumably Germain's fed and were briefly joined by a thermaling Shikra.

Little Green Bee-eater

Very few birds noted off shore at Cha-am, with just the odd Brown-headed Gull, Whiskered and Common Tern passing by.

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