Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Spoon-billed Sandpiper!

The season is drawing closer towards its end. Soon this enigmatic and unique creature will head towards Eastern Siberia and its breeding grounds. How long can it hold on to the pressures of loss of suitable 'refueling' habitat during its long flight? Can it find suitable breeding habitat? Will it find a mate? Can it survive another season of villagers in Bangladesh harvesting shorebirds for staple?

Don't we all wish him sucess?

This season I have had a high count of 8 individuals at Bak Taley, Petburi. The birds have proven quite easy to spot. Or perhaps I am getting sharper in my 'spotting skills'? Either way, when one is found and I see the joy in the face of the visiting birder, I can sense the awe and almost europhic relationship that exist between birders and this very special bird.

The birds are never easy to approach very close on foot and seldom do one have a chance to use the car as a cover. This bird was pretty accommodating though and I managed a few shots laying down on the muddy levy at approximately 30m distance. (400mm F5.6)

As he turns his back on winter territory I hope with all of my heart he will be successful in Siberia and come back to Thailand next season with new additions to his flock.


Ian said...

Great stuff Peter. As one of the lucky birders to join you this season I can vouch everything you say above. I think I was probably in the car when you took some of those photos too. And it was more than joy on my face. There may have been a few expletives too. Magic.

Simon Taylor said...

Fantastic post.

Paul said...

Great stuff Peter, I have been lucky enough to visit these wintering sites in Thailand, although several years ago now. Superb little birds and lets hope that they keep coming back to continue to give pleasure to birders and the rest of mankind for many years to come.

M said...

Hey Peter - I really enjoyed the trip there over the Thanksgiving weekend. Spoonbill Sandpipers and all the other birds were great. Stefan got some pretty good pictures, which were way cool. - Michael Fleming

Kah-Wai Lin said...

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Kah Wai

Mark Andrews said...

Nice flight shot Peter, your thoughts are mine also, fingers crossed they have a better year.