Sunday, December 29, 2013

Bahkplee, Nakorn Nayok

I couldn't resist paying another visit to this great open area. It is 120 km from my house so it means an early rise to be there at sunrise. Today there was more traffic as many folks were headed out of Bkk to celebrate the up coming New Year. 

My target for this trip was to find an Australasian Bushlark. A bird that has eluded me till now. It actually didn't take all that long to find it as I had reviewed the bird's song. There is was singing away in a towering flight display. I later stalked one but never got close enough for any decent shots so had to settle for scope views.

A lot of singing in the air included Striated Grassbird, Oriental Skylark and the afor menetioned Bushlark.
So I put up my hide again. The birds seemed quite eager to grab the worms. Perhaps the cool night, 14 C, had made them hungry? 

This time there were two male Bluethroats coming in. The one brighter then the other.






It seemed that Rosy Pipit had more rosy on throat and breast this time. Do these birds start to assume breeding plumage this early?



I rather sympathetic looking Stejnegri Stonechat showed nicely in the early morning light.


I also wanted to see if I could find the resident Black Kites (Milvus govinda)found in the area. The area holds a massive roost for wintering  Black-eared Kite (M. lineatus) but also a few Black ones. I got really lucky when this individual showed up on the bank of the canal next to my car for a few brief moments. Black Kite has yellow cere and feet and   is also more slender then Black-eared.


A Yellow Wagtail also came to the party. This one has an odd yellow spot on the breast.
Not sure what race this is?



                               Oh, so photogenic!


                                I just love the light in the early morning!


Thursday, December 26, 2013

The dance of the Broad-bills!

It is great when a couple of birds interact one way or the other. It creates unforetold poses and movement.













Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Flying birds at salt pans


I had a little time to myself at the salt pans the other day. Saw a lot of birds of course but also enjoyed the solitude of being alone with the birds and the elements. A cold front had hit along with strong winds so I even had to put on a wind breaker as temperatures dropped to 18C. 
In this posting I will show you some of the birds flying about.
First one is the very common Pond Heron. Yes, Chinese and Javan can not be seperated in winter plumage.



Whiskered Tern, being a marsh tern, is always the most numerous in the salt pans and the marshy areas.


The area has thousands of Black-tailed Godwits this year. I managed to isolate one individual.


Little Terns are also quite common and some of them are starting to assume breeding plumage when the bill is changing from an all black bill.


This year also has plenty of Great Knots. This is the largest Calidris and I actually don't even think of it as one as it simply is comparatively huge.



To my joy some ducks were about. Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail and Eurasian Wigeons.


The shorebirds were often up from the deck and sometimes the cause was this Peregrine Falcon.


            Grey Plover seemed to enjoy the company of Great Knots.


             Here the dark axilleries are showing well.

Caspian Tern is always a spectacular bird. It is simply huge. I enjoyed listening to its calls and viewing it feeding in a pan.

Lots of smaller waders about as well. Here Broad-billed and Curlew Sandpiper with a lone Kentish Plover.




Thursday, December 12, 2013

Spoonie


After all the heavy rains in November it was a bit tricky to find the Spoonie in the flooded fields of Paktaley.
But this year there are two regular birds at Khok Kham and I had a chance to visit the other day. 
I put myself in a pop up hide and waited. Here is the result...................





Monday, December 2, 2013

Pipits

I drove 120 km to get to a site where Rosy Pipit had been reported from. The area near to Nakorn Nayok had some unusually large uncultivated fields. I could hear singing from all over and especially the Striated Grassbird took part of the chorus. Nice to find a place where it seem to be doing well.

I set up my hide and waited. It didn't take long for some Red-throated Pipits to show. Some showing more red on the throat then others.




One of the most colorful birds of the field is Bluethroat. He also came to get a free handout of some protein rich meal worms.




Then the bird I had hoped for started to appear. Rosy Pipit. Note the all dark bill, dark side to face and strong malar. I noticed it also has more greenish color then Red-throated.




The most frequent bird to show was a pair of Zitting Cisticolas. Tiny and active little birds not normally that easy to see so well.


                  Stejnegri's Stonechat also wanted its share.

I In one of the fields there were a lot of eucalyptus trees. I counted over a hundred Black-eared Kites roosting in them but forgot to take a picture.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Sri Nakorn Keuan Kun park

Sharen and George requested a morning at some nearby city park. We opted for this little visited park in Samut Prakan. The park is surrounded in greenery, swamps, mangroves, banana plantations and in vicinity of the sea. Not a lot of people in the early morning gave us the advantage of being alone on the bird watching tower where we did the bulk of our birding.

Some regular park birds showed but several species that otherwise are not easy in the city but more rural secondary growth showed.

Several Greater Racket-tailed Drongos. 3 Black Bazas was a happy surprise. Several Black-naped Orioles and many Pink-necked Pigeons. Black-naped Monarch, Pale-legged Leaf Warbler, Black-winged Cuckoo Shrike were other good ones. Still, the Coppersmith Barbet managed to steal the show for my Karen and George as they simply couldn't get enough of it!

                                         Black Bazas


                                          Female Pink-necked Pigeon


                                        Immature Black-naped Oriole


                                         Black-winged Cuckoo Shrike


Paktaley, Lampakbia and paddies!

I had the pleasure of taking Karen and George Sherman for a day of birding to the prime birding area of Paktaley, Lampakbia and the paddies of Petchaburi. It  had rained massively the day before and when I met them at their hotel the skies were all dark with rain filled clouds. We bravely set off anyhow and amazingly enough didn't encounter any rains at all throughout the day. The salt pans were flooded though and it was impossible to walk the dykes. Thus we didn't have a real chance to look for the Spoon-billed Sandpiper.

Karenn and George were easy to please anyhow and as we kept birding the fields and the pans we ended up with a day count of almost 100. Most of these birds were new for both of them. I managed to pick up a few pictures along the way and here are some of them starting with the quite numerous Black-tailed Godwit.



     It isn't often I get a chance to get fairly close to Ruddy Turnstone but this one was quite co-operative.


 
      The  Wood Sandpiper fluffing it's feathers like a Ruff!


Red-necked Stints were common and inspite of very little color they have beautiful feathers in nice layers.

                               
   A real winner is the Long-toed Stint and this one also came close.


               Larger Gulls are never common here. A 2nd CY Heuglin's Gull stood out amongst the many     Brown-headed Gulls.


     Adult Black-crowned Night Heron is quite an attractive bird.


        In some reeds a Bronze-winged Jacana showed at a distance.