Sunday, November 25, 2012

Waders, waders, waders!

Tommy Pedersen from the UAE and Vincent Everts both passed through Bangkok on business. What better way of spending a day but to look for rare waders at Petchaburi? I seriously don't know of any more diverse site on the planet. In the end we saw 2 Spoon-billed Sandpipers, 6 Nordmann's Greenshanks, 62 Asian Dowitchers (incredible amount), 2 White-faced Plovers, 6 Malaysian Plovers, 1 Small Pratincole (uncommon in the area), 12 Grey-headed Lapwings, 30 Terek Sandpipers and 3 rare Chinese Egrets. Of course we saw a lot of the more regular waders as well and plenty of other birds.

Spoon-billed Sandpiper

1st year male White-faced Plover

Male White-faced Plover assuming breeding plumage.

As above

Male Malaysian Plover

Female Malaysian Plover

Asian Dowitcher

Monday, November 19, 2012

Spoonie again!

 Brian Fletcher stopped over for a day on his way from Sydney to a birding tour in Northeastern Brazil with Birdquest. Brian had tried to see the Spoonie on two different occasions, once in Myanmar and once in Thailand but failed.
This time he was rewarded with some of the best views possible. We spent several hours enjoying 3 birds as they fed in the salt pans.

Brian also added Milky Stork to his world list as well as White-faced Plover, so it was quite a happy man that boarded his plane the day following.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Wader Quest

Rick and Elis Simpson has set out to see as many waders as possible within a year of birding.
Their journey began with an attempt to see Spoon-billed Sandpiper at Baktaly, Petchaburi, Thailand.

They had allotted a week for their visit to Thailand and I was able to join them on their 1st day.

It still has rained a fair bit and the salt pans are full of water. This makes it a bit hard to find the smaller waders. It took us about an hour before we got sight of our Spoonies. 3 birds were feeding next to a narrow piece of soil at the end of one of the pans. This naturally gave cause for rejoicing.

We kept going and ended up with 28 species of waders for the day.

                                          Spoon-billed Sandpiper
                                          White-faced Plover
                                           Chinese, Pacific and Little Egret


1. Spoon-billed Sandpiper - 3
2. Curlew Sandpiper
3. Broad-billed Sandpiper
4. Common Sandpiper
5. Marsh Sandpiper
6. Terek Sandpiper -1
7. Wood Sandpiper
8. Common Greenshank
9. Nordmann's Greenshank - 4
10. Ruff
11. Black-winged Stilts
12. Grey Plover
13. Pacific Golden Plover
14Lesser Sand Plover
15. Greater Sand Plover
16. Malaysian Plover
17. White-faced Plover
18. Kentish Plover
19. Red-necked Stint
20. Long-toed Stint
21. Little Ringed Plover
22. Whimbrel
23. Eurasian Curlew
24. Far Eastern Curlew -1
25. Red-wattled Lapwing
26. Grey-headed Lapwing -2
27. Sanderling
28. Black-tailed Godwit

Other good ones: Chinese Egret and Milky Stork

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A day without rain

There had been storm warnings for over a week and that put a little concern over the scheduled one day trip to Muang Boran fish ponds with Lars and Inger from Sweden.
As things worked out it was the sunniest day in a long time and very hot.
The walk ways at the ponds were very wet and the ponds themselves  had higher water level then normal. This led to the absence of a few otherwise regular birds.
Either way, since Lars and Inger never had birded in SEA before it didn’t really matter much.
We had lunch at the restaurant at the end of the pier at Bangpoo where all the Brown-headed Gulls gather.  There were about  50 gulls there already and at least 1000 Whiskered Terns.
We had one weird sighting at the fish ponds: a single Blossom-headed Parakeet in the top of a tree with some Blue-tailed Bee-eater.  His call was so different and not something you ever hear around this place. I suspect it must be an escaped bird though it is found in the wild in more suitable habitat further North.

So here is what we saw:

1.       Little Grebe – plenty
2.       Painted Stork – soaring and on the ground  in the hinterlands
3.       Asian Openbill – common
4.       Yellow Bittern – kept flushing a number of them
5.       Striated Heron – a few
6.       Pond Heron – both Javan and Chinese are here now in non-breeding plumage…common bird
7.       Grey Heron – a couple in flight
8.       Purple Heron  - 1 in flight
9.       Great Egret – common
10.   Little Egret – common
11.   Little Cormorant – common
12.   Indian Shag/Cormorant – a dozen, a much more uncommon bird then Little Cormorant
13.   White-breasted Waterhen – only flushed a couple, normally see a lot more
14.   Black-winged Stilt – several
15.   Little Ringed Plover – 5 birds at Bangpoo
16.   Pacific Golden Plover – 15-20 birds in heath vegetation
17.   Pheasant-tailed Jacana – only a few
18.   Bronze-winged Jacana – only a couple
19.   Black-tailed Godwit – maybe 1000 congregating in the hinterland by a body of water
20.   Common Sandpiper – a few and very confiding, down to one meter
21.   Brown-headed Gull – 50 early returnees
22.   Common Tern – a few
23.   Whiskered Tern – 1000
24.   Rock Dove – common
25.   Red Collared Dove – a couple
26.   Zebra Dove – common
27.   Asian Koel – heard only
28.   Blossom-headed Parakeet – 1 at fish ponds
29.   Asian Palm Swiftlet – a few at the airport
30.   Indian Roller – 1 on route
31.   White-throated Kingfisher – 1 at Bangpoo
32.   Black-capped Kingfisher – several at both sites
33.   Common Kingfisher – a couple
34.   Collared Kingfisher – 2 seen
35.   Blue-tailed Bee-eater – small group seen at both sites
36.   Common Iora – a pair
37.   Brown Shrike – several
38.   Long-tailed Shrike – 1 seen
39.   Pied Fantail – common
40.   Black Drongo – common
41.   Yellow-vented Bulbul – heard
42.   Streak-eared Bulbul – a couple
43.   Sand Martin – 1 at fish ponds
44.   Barn Swallow – common
45.   Oriental Reed Warbler – heard
46.   Dusky Warbler – heard
47.   Yellow-bellied Prinia – heard
48.   Plain Prinia – common
49.   Common Tailorbird – a pair
50.   White-vented Myna (Great Myna) – common
51.   Common Myna – common
52.   Asian Pied Starling (Pied Myna) – a few
53.   Oriental Magpie-Robin – a few
54.   Asian Brown Flycatcher – 2 seen
55.   Olive-backed Sunbird – 1 male
56.   Eurasian Tree Sparrow – common
57.   Baya Weaver – one flock
58.   Scaly-breasted Munia – one flock
59.   Eastern Yellow Wagtail – 2 seen
60.   White Wagtail – 1 seen at Bangpoo (unusual sighting)
61.   Paddyfield Pipit – half a dozen at Bangpoo

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Terek Sandpipers

The Tereks were a bit easier to get close to but it is still early in the season and having just arrived from their breeding grounds they seemed rather skittish as well.

Here are a few shots I managed.

The last image has a Grey-tailed Tattler mixed in with the sandpipers.

Grey-tailed Tattler

 This is a bird I don't see very often. It is primarily a passage migrant and doesn't show up much on salt pans or away from the coast. When I heard there were a few of them at Prasae, Rayong some 200 km from my home I 'did the dash', hired a boat and got some pix. There were 5 of them mixed in with about 300 Terek Sandpipers. The birds were skittish and I never managed to get as close to them as I would have liked.
Some of the birds were still in breeding pluamge with scaly breasts. Others were more plain looking in winter plumage.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Greater Painted Snipe

One never get tired of seeing the Painted Snipe. They are normally crepuscular so it was highly unusual to see them out in the open in good light like this.
These birds have reversed sex rules where it is the male that raises the young and the male with the duller plumage.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Great Thick-knee

Prior to this I had only seen this bird once. That time I only got an image by using a friends 600mm with two stacked 1.4 TC.
This time I got a lot closer though it was back lit.
A week later this bird was joined by another one so hopefully they don't need to feel so 'lost'!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Bahk Chong - Khao Yai - Nakorn Nayok

Bahk Chong - Khao Yai - Nakorn Nayok

The other day I did a 420km drive to visit 3 different locations. It felt very nice to be out of Bangkok again.
My 1st destination was Bahk Chong, near to Khao Yai, where there are some grass lands near a reservoir.
I was after Small Buttonquail, a bird that has eluded my until now. I managed to see one bird crossing the dirt road but got no picture. Instead I got this lovely Peacock Pansy

Paddyfield Pipit

Lesser Whistling Tree Duck

Oriental Pratincole

I also saw several Oriental Skylarks and amazingly so this is my very 1st shot of this species. Great looking bird!

After some delicious local food I drove up to Khao Yai.
On the grasslands some Red-whiskered Bulbuls hung around.

And the Golden-headed Cisticolas had started to moult out of breeding plumage.

A drive to the Military Acadamy at Nakorn Nayok. Here in the lawns there are always some birds.

White-breasted Waterhen!

Asian Openbill

This young Vinous-breasted Starling was begging for food.

Many Black-collared Starlings were feeding on worms.

I did see a Blue-winged Pitta but it didnt come out in the open for photography.