Thursday, December 15, 2016

Mae Sariang

A work trip to Mae Sariang (Mae Hong Son province) this week got me out of the city and I brought my binoculars in case I managed to sneak in a few birds between meetings.

Actually the trip gave me a couple of notable records - firstly and I think bizarrely - I saw three Java Sparrows on top of Don Muang airport car park in Bangkok - I have never seen this species before, anywhere!  Whether I can tick this feral population is another matter, but you can i agine my surprise as I dragged my suitcase from car to terminal!

When I got to my hotel in Mae Sariang I went for a stroll along the river below my room and found a real, genuine Thailand tick in the form of a Green Sandpiper feeding on a shingle bank - a seemingly sparsely distributed winter visitor to northern Thailand.  This bird was in the lose company of three Amur Wagtails, two Common Sandpipers and three Little Ringed Plovers. So with Siberian Rubythroat, Thick-billed and Dusky Warblers calling as they skulked unseen in the undergrowth, this makes a very pleasant place to explore out between meetings.

On my second day checking this area I added Wire-tailed Swallow (three birds feeding at close range along the river) and a probable Asian House Martin (poor views in bad light) as well as Common and Black-capped Kingfishers and a group of small starlings (presumably Chestnut-tailed or White shouldered).

Not proper birding by any stretch of the imagination, but better that being stuck at my desk in Bangkok.