Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Eurasian Thick-knee

This is a bird not often seen in Thailand. There is a fairly regular population at an arid area in western part of Petburi province but it involves a bit of a drive. I have seen individuals in arid areas near Kaengkrachan park as well.
However, when this bird appeared in a suburban park of Bangkok it was unusual.
The park is huge and has had some good records of late such as Fairy Pitta: new species for Thailand, and Narcissus Flycatcher.

I got wind of the bird through some local websites and knew where to look for it. It was said to be on a small 'island' called 'dog island'. This is a place where stray dogs as well as unwanted dogs are sheltered.
I drove the loop slowly in search for my bird but failed to see it. Decided to step out of the car in hope of flushing it.
Did those dogs ever bark at a large caocasian on their grounds! I walked around and finally decided to get back to the car. That is when I flushed the bird. Off it flew. I followed it with my eyes, quickly got the engine going and drove after it.
It sweetly decided to land on an open lawn. Yes! Now I knew I had a chance. I stopped, got out my 'walking blind' and with me inside moved towards my target.

There are only 9 species of Thick-knees in the world. This is the most common on northern grounds as these birds are primarily found in the southern continents. Formerly known as Stone-Curlew. I suspect the name derives from the sort of Curlew like 'wailing' sound it makes. And Stone I suppose comes from the arid area it prefers to dwell in.
Now it is called a 'thick-knee'....which this image clearly depicts.

It is primarily crepuscular (active at dusk and dawn) and spend the day sleeping.
When it is alarmed it lays down as cover.

The most striking thing about the bird to me is the large eye. Maybe they should be called 'Big-eyes'?

This was my nicest image.

All taken with Canon 30D and 400F5.6 handheld.

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