Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Cuckoos, Ducks and a free lunch

Have just spent a couple of days at Beung Bhoraphet, Nakhon Sawan, an afternoon was spent birding around the waterbird park, followed by a three hour boat trip out onto the lake with Lung Phanom the following morning. It has been a poor wet season so far and water levels on the lake are very low and a boat is needed to get to any areas of open water. Construction work being carried out at the waterbird park during the early part of the year seems to been largely completed, apart from a new visitor center/restaurant being built opposite the parking lot. Vegetation around the waterbird park/nature trail seems to have largely grown back following dredging.

Chestnut-winged Cuckoo
As usual there was plenty of birds at the waterbird park, include a scattering of migrants which included at least three Chestnut-winged Cuckoo, I spent sometime trying to get a decent photo, eventually getting one that was slightly better than previous ones but still fairly rubbish! Other migrants included 4 Common, 2 Black-capped and a Stork-billed Kingfisher, 30 Chestnut-headed Bee-eater, 4 White Wagtail, 2 Forest Wagtail, 3 Black-naped Oriole, 5 Dusky Warbler, a Two-barred Warbler, 4 Black-browed Reed Warbler, 10 Eastern Stonechat, 3 Asian Brown Flycatcher, 4 Taiga Flycatcher, 8 Brown Shrike, 27 White Shouldered and 15 Chestnut-tailed Starling.  

Pink-necked Green Pigeon
Other species present around the waterbird park included 7 Yellow, 2 Cinnamon  and 2 Black Bittern, several Ruddy-breasted Crake, 5 Watercock, 16 Pink-necked Green Pigeon, Spotted Owlet, many Blue-tailed Bee-eater, Linneated Barbet, 2 Freckled-breasted Woodpecker,  several Yellow-vented Bulbul, Striated Grassbird, 3 Chestnut Munia and 2 Red Avadavat

The boat trip out onto to the lake, produced many thousands of Lesser Whistling Ducks, along with 2500 Garganey, 3 Eurasian Teal, a Pintail and a good scattering of Cotton Pygmy Geese. A couple  White-browed Crakes were seen briefly, with  the boat flushing many Pheasant-tailed Jacana including many still in breeding plumage, along with good numbers of Watercock, Purple Gallinule, Bronze-winged Jacana, Yellow and Cinnamon Bittern. Small number of Whiskered Tern fed over the lake along with thousands of Swallow, Sand Martin and a few Red-rumped Swallow. Up to four Eastern Marsh Harrier were constantly patrolling the lake along with three Black Kite and at least 150 Oriental Pratincole were high overhead. 

Oriental Darter, Indian and Little Cormorant

Great, Intermediate and Little Egret
Purple and Grey Herons were scattered all across the lake and on an island in the middle, several hundred Night Heron were present along with good numbers of Oriental Darter, Indian and Little Cormorant and various Egrets. The only waders noted were around 100 Black-winged Stilt and small numbers of Red-wattled Lapwing. A further dozen Common Kingfisher were noted, as well as two Pied and several more Black-caped.

Pied Paddy Skimmer
Good numbers of drgaonflies were present around the margins including many Pied Paddy Skimmer Neurothemis tullia. .

Water Lillies

Gathering lunch
 Highlight for the none birders was the many water lillies and lotus in flower and the collecting of water lilly stems for lunch!       

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