Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Nok Nam

Lesser Whistling Duck 'Nok Nam'
Beung Bhoraphet
Yesterday afternoon on the way back from Phitsunoluk we dropped into the waterbird park (Nok Nam Park) at Beung Bhoraphet, this time last year the whole area was flooded and under several meters of water, which killed off most of the emergent vegetation, with far less rain this year, the main area of open water was well over a kilometer away. The rich and lush lake margins held many thousands of Lesser Whsitling Ducks, which were constantly being flushed by several Eastern Marsh Harrier revealing at least 400 Garganey amongst them.   

Chestnut-tailed Starling Beung Bhoraphet

As usual the trails and bunds around the waterpark, produced plenty of birds including 30 White-shouldered Starling and a vocal and mobil flock of 100 Chestnut-tailed Starlings. Several Purple Heron were noted, along with good numbers of Phesant-tailed and Bronze-winged Jacana. Half a dozen Ruddy-breasted Crakes and White-breasted Waterhen scuttled of into the reeds and two Watercocks were flushed. Despite the time of day and the heat, there were plenty of warblers with Dusky, Black-browed and Oriental Reed Warbler noted, along with several Striated Grassbirds and Yellow-bellied Prinia. Huge numbers of Oriental Pratincoles fed high overhead, along with uncountable numbers of Eurasian Swallows and smaller numbers of Sand Martins, Red-rumped Swallow and Blue-tailed Bee-eater.
Oriental Pratincoles Bueng Bhoraphet

Over a hundred Night Herons were flushed from their daytime roost and also recorded were two pairs of Fulvous-breasted Woodpeckers, several Cotton Pygmy Goose, two Arctic Warblers, a Forest Wagtail, Siberian Rubythroat, two Swinhoe's Minivet, two Ashy Drongo and three Black-naped Orioles.  

Conspicuous by their absence were Open-billed Stork, with only a few noted when normally many thousands are present, maybe they were elsewhere or had not yet arrived, though the apparent removal by locals of many roost trees around the lakes margins will not have helped.  

New Walkway Bueng Bhoraphet
A new elevated walkway is currently being constructed at the park, which will offer great views across the lake and hopefully close views of many waterbirds, despite construction still ongoing several Purple Heron, Purple Gallinule and Lesser Whistling Ducks were feeding right along or even underneath the walkway. 

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