Sunday, February 3, 2013

Greater Spotted Eagle

Yesterday after meeting Mick and Wendy Saunt at Bangkok Airport, we headed straight for the coast towards Cha-am, on the way we stopped at Nong Pla Lai raptor watchpoint near Petchaburi. It seems to have been a fairly poor year for large raptors in the area, but despite very overcast conditions we did eventually find a Greater Spotted Eagle sat in a distant tree. Other raptors present included at least 30 Black Kite, 4 Bhraminy Kite, 4 Black-shouldered Kite, Osprey and a male Eastern Marsh Harrier. We also had a small group of 5 Oriental Pratincoles head over high to the north, my first returning birds of the year. There were plenty of standard open country birds around the area including several Eastern Yellow Wagtails, Richard's, Paddyfield and Red-throated Pipits, Eastern Stonechats and 3 Plain-backed Sparrow.

Marsh Sandpiper
Pak Thale
After checking into our comfortable hotel at Cha-am, late afternoon we headed to Pak Thale to look for Spoon-billed Sandpiper, probably due to it being low tide there were very few waders in the area, and only a handful of Red-necked Stints. After an hour of looking without success we eventually found a saltpan with lots of waders, mostly Marsh and Curlew Sandpipers but also 5 Red-necked Phalarope and a Ruff. We finished the final hour of the day at the rubbish tip and abandoned building at Laem Pak Bia, best birds here 6 Ruff, two Indochinese Bushlarks, 3 White-shouldered Starling, Yellow Bittern, Wryneck, Peregrine, White-winged Black and Caspian Tern, good numbers of Long-toed Stint and hundreds of Whiskered Terns heading to the coast to roost.

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