Saturday, March 19, 2011

Pak Thale & Laem Pak Bia...again

 Painted Storks

Great day’s birding in the company of Nick Sismey, with six Spoon-billed Sandpipers at Pak Thale, (three attaining breeding plumage), two Nordmann’s Greenshanks and c.300 Great Knot at Laem Pak Bia (pools north of Royal Project), plus the usual assortment of waders including three species of stint, a few Broad-billed Sandpipers, both Sandplovers (Greater being the more numerous), and a few year ticks for me in the form of Red Knot, Sanderling and Common Redshank.
 Marsh Sandpiper
 Temminck's Stint

We joined Phil Round, Gerry Brett and a couple of other ringers at the Royal Project where we watched them processing a splendid Pale-legged Leaf Warbler as well as Dusky Warbler, Oriental Reed Warbler and Collared Kingfisher.  A wander around this area also provided nice views of Golden-bellied Gerygone and several Racket-tailed Treepies.  We also had three migranting Oriental Honey Buzzards between Pak Thale and LPB, and located a field stuffed with Oriental Pratincoles in the same area.

 Javan Pond Heron
 Collared Kingfisher

 Pale-legged Leaf Warbler

Before heading back to Bangkok we checked out Nong Pla Lai raptor watchpoint which gave us some excellent additions to the day’s list including two Greater Spotted and one Steppe Eagle, the first Grey-faced Buzzard I’ve seen in a long time, and a few Baya Weavers at their nests.

 juv Steppe Eagle

The two shots below were knocked off as a last resort when watching a high-flying raptor in very strong light - we saw the bird briefly through binoculars but were having trouble staying on it, so the camera came out.  Now from the comfort of my armchair, I can clearly see that the bird is a Grey-faced Buzzard - note the very contrasting tail banding, darker head and upper breast contrasting with a paler belly,  and dark tips to the primaries.  Structurally, the wings are too long for an Accipiter and fit Batastur much better. Digiblasting rules!

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