Friday, December 31, 2010

A big bird to end the year

I took a young Australian birder out for the day yesterday (30th).  As it was his first day birding in SE Asia he managed to get more than 60 ticks!  The quality was pretty high, ending the day with a vagrant CINEREOUS VULTURE at the raptor watchpoint to the west of Petchaburi.  This excellent area also produced GREATER SPOTTED EAGLE, OSPREY, at least ten BLACK KITES, BLACK-SHOULDERED KITE, BRAHMINY KITE and  two EASTERN MARSH HARRIERS.  Other birders have also seen Steppe and Imperial Eagles in this area in recent days.  I have marked the location of the viewing area on this GoogleMap.

 Cinereous Vulture dwarfing a lineatus Black Kite

Earlier in the day we visited Pak Thale, which gave us an excellent selection of waders including 1-2 SPOON-BILLED SANDPIPERS, 15 NORDMANN'S GREENSHANK, and perhaps a thousand GREAT KNOT.  We also picked up a rather smart adult winter PALLAS'S GULL.

Pallas's & Brown-headed Gulls

Long-toed Stint

 Pacific Goldie


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Knot a lot!

Pak Thale/Lae Pak Bia area again today - very productive with one SPOON-BILLED SANDPIPER, a flock of 45 NORDMANN'S GREENSHANK, and two Thailand ticks for me in the form of three RED-NECKED PHALAROPES and five PIED AVOCET (both quite rare in Thailand).

Also the largest number of GREAT KNOT I have ever seen, with a single flock estimated at 600-800 birds.

A large flock of waders, predominantly Great Knot, 
but with Nordmann's taking the front row.

BirdLife International estimates the population of adult Nordmann's 
at 500-1,000 - so a flock of 45 birds is rather significant!

Sunrise Spooner

Friday, December 10, 2010

Black-faced Spoonbill'd Sandpipers

Just back from a long, tiring but rewarding day at Pak Thale, which produced a BLACK-FACED SPOONBILL (a rare straggler here) 3 SPOON-BILLED SANDPIPERS, as well as 5 NORDMANN'S GREENSHANKS.  I also got an uninspiring tick in the form of at least three HEUGLIN'S GULLS.

The only thing better than a Spoon-billed Sandpiper is...

 ...two Spoon-billed Sandpipers

 That's a lot of Marsh Sandpipers

 Brahminy Kite

Open-billed Storks

Male and female Malaysian Plovers, Laem Pak Bia

a nice comparison between Malaysian and Kentish Plovers