Sunday, February 1, 2015

Asian Waterbird Census

I did my two AWC sites this morning.  They were the same locations that I did last year -  a couple of random areas of water selected for me by the co-ordination team. In many ways, these sites represent what I am increasingly witnessing when I leave Bangkok and head out into areas a long the inner gulf coast: "development" at the cost of wildlife.

The first site I visited had been something of an unexpected gem last year, a roadside scrape that hosted more than 600 Spotted Redshank and more than 250 Marsh Sandpipers, with a flock of 11 Glossy Ibis (a rare bird in Thailand) dropping in during the count, and over 200 Whiskered Terns feeding over the marsh. Today I found the site had been turned into a fish pond which hosted  a small number of herons and cormorants, with the only waders being single Pacific Goldie, Common Sandpiper and two pairs of Black-winged Stilts.  Next to the pond a building was being was being constructed.

The second site that I visited last year held over 3,000 Lesser Whistling Duck, but today the same lack was devoid of bird life, with small numbers of Lesser Whistling Duck flying over and circling but then moving on, whilst a couple of pools further on held two Greenshank and single Wood, Marsh and Common Sandpiper.  That site also appears to be under development, with the dirt road that I used last year apparently being upgraded, and more construction underway.

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