Thursday, October 29, 2015

First Spoon-billed Sandpiper of the winter.

Spot-billed Pelican
I have just had two great great days birding on the coast between between Pak Thale and Leam Pak Bia as usual lots of waders and terns in the area. Upon arriving at Pak Thale on Wednesday morning the second bird I looked at through the scope was an adult Spoon-billed Sandpiper and was presumably the same bird which had been reported here a few days earlier, it was still present the next day. Scarcer waders in the area included at least 403 Terek Sandpiper and 11 Red Knot (both the largest numbers I have seen here), 13 Red-necked Phalarope, 6 Sanderling, 2 Asiatic Dowitcher and a surprise summer plumage Dunlin.

Waders at Pak Thale
Counts of other waders present: 2350 Great Knot, 1700 Eurasian Curlew, 575 Curlew Sandpiper, 118 Whimbrel and 57 Bar-tailed Godwit. Also present were large numbers of Red-necked Stint, Marsh Sandpiper, Kentish Plover, Greater and Lesser Sandplover and a scattering of Redshank, Greenshank, Long-toed Stint and Little Ringed Plover.
Marsh Sandpipers
There was also good numbers of Brown-headed Gull in the area among which were two 1st year Heuglin's Gull and four Black-headed Gull. Just after dawn on Wednesday a group of 120 Garganey flew north and up to 18 Painted Stork were around.

Lots of birds also on the salt pans at Leam Pak Bia where best bird was a first year Black-tailed Gull over with Brown-headed Gulls. Also in the area were 8 Nordmann's Greenshank, 84 Common Redshank, 60 Pacific Golden Plover, 4 Terek Sandpiper, several hundred Red-necked Stint, 107 Painted Stork, 3 Spot-billed Pelican, 2 Pintail which looked out of place sat in the middle of a salt pan, a Bluethroat and at least 13 Richard's Pipit.

Intermediate Egret
Gull-billed and Little Terns
 Huge numbers of terns were also present along the entire length of the coast, roosting at high tide on the salt pans, including a group of 53 Gull-billed Tern, several thousand Common and Little Tern and a smaller numbers of Caspian and White-winged Black Tern.
Pin-tailed Snipe
I made several visits into the research project at Leam Pak Bia where up to 8 Spot-billed Pelican were always present, along with four Ruff, a couple of Temminck's Stint, several Pin-tailed Snipe, lots of egrets, Paddyfield and Richard's Pipits. In the evenings several Black-crowned Night Heron showed exceptionally well just alongside the car.
Night Heron
Pacific Golden Plover
Shortly after a rain shower on Tuesday four Oriental Honey Buzzard and a pale phase Booted Eagle lifted out of the mangroves and headed south. In the mangroves, along the board walk, good numbers of Golden-bellied Gerygone seen, along with a Mangrove Whsitler, an Asian Brown Flycatcher and a small group of Ashy Minivet.

Spot-billed Pelicans

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