Monday, February 4, 2013

Pak Thale

Pacific Golden Plover
Pak Thale
Yesterday we started the day birding at Pak Thale in complete contrast to the previous day there were waders everywhere. It took us a little while to find Spoon-billed Sandpiper, due to a Peregrine and then Kestrel causing a huge amount of disturbance, but eventually we enjoyed good views of one feeding amongst around 100 Red-necked Stint. Other waders in the area included around 200 Broad-billed Sandpiper, several hundred Curlew Sandpiper, Great Knot, Lesser and Greater Sandplover, Black-tailed Godwit, 400 Marsh Sandpiper, 4 Red-necked Phalarope and smaller numbers of Spotted Redshank, Long-toed StintPacific Golden Plover, Grey Plover and Whimbrel.

Rather than look for more Spoon-billed Sands, we headed towards Laem Pak Bia in search of Nordmann's Greenshank, we soon found a flock of 29 roosting amongst Common Greenshank and around 50 Spotted Redshank. Also in the area were at least 12 Asiatic Dowitcher, 800 Great Knot and 9 Avocet.

Common Greenshank

We then spent the rest of the morning in the research center at Laem Pak Bia, as usual there were plenty of birds, best records a pair of Mangrove Whistlers which showed very well, 3 Racket-tailed Treepie, White-winged Black Tern, 2 Grey-headed Lapwing, Heuglin's Gull, Osprey and several Ruddy-breasted Crake. Early afternoon we birded around the nearby abandoned building, where 49 roosting Caspian Terns, 300 Little Tern, 2 Indochinese Bushlark, 6 Sanderling and a colour flagged Red-necked Stint.

Great Egret
Laem Pak Bia
We finished the day birding around farmland and small pond a few kilometers inland of Pak Thale, which proved to be an excellent area for raptors with 2 Greater Spotted Eagles, Eastern Marsh Harrier, Black Kite and several Bhraminy Kite. With falling water levels on the pond it was also a good site for rails and crakes with at least 5 Ruddy-breasted Crake, 2 Slaty-breasted Rail and a Watercock. Also around or on the pond were two Temminck's Stint, 20 Little Ringed Plover, 15 Wood Sandpiper, several Streaked and Golden Weaver. On adjacent farmland were 10 Grey-headed Lapwing, 12 Red-throated Pipit, 10 Eastern Yellow Wagtail, 3 Common Snipe and a Pintail Snipe.

Also a feature of the day was the northward passage of several small parties of Oriental Pratincoles, with a day total of around 70.  


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