Friday, January 11, 2013

Thailand 2013 Birding Trip - Part 1

I have my 2013 first birding trip last week at Thailand. Like many other country of South East Asia, birding at Thailand during this period will have opportunity to watch both the resident as well as migratory birds.  Visit during this period will have higher chance of meeting with the less common & rare birds such as the one that appeared on the sign board that bring us to our intended birding site, Pak Thale Shorebird Site - Spoon-billed Sand piper! I was told that only 3 birds recorded this season!
Pak Thale, Thailand
Pak Thale is one of the best birding site I ever visited. The birding site sits right in the middle of huge salt pan along the Gulf of Thailand. This in return give bird watcher a opportunity to watch bird in anytime of the day as long as there are sun light (from sun rise to just before sun set) as this site is not affected by tidal changes and the water level is consistent throughout the day.
Pak Thale, Thailand
Salt are harvested when sea water evaporated.

Eurasian Curlew, (Numenius arquata)
Saw this huge flock of  Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata) from far before we even arrive at the site. I have never seen so many Eurasian Curlew before. I use to see only Whimbrel in Singapore!
Common Sandpiper
We start with the more common birds - the Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)
Marsh Sandpiper
Marsh Sandpiper (Tringa stagnatilis) is also quite common in Singapore.
Broad-billed Sandpiper
Bird that not so common in Singapore - Broad-billed Sandpiper (Limicola falcinellus)
Temminck's Stint
Stints are some of the smaller shore birds, smaller than a plover - Temminck's Stint (Calidris temminckii)
Long-toed Stint
Another stint that I saw - a Long-toed Stint (Calidris subminuta)
Common Greenshank
Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)
A very beautiful Sanderling  (Calidris alba)
Spotted Redshank
Spotted Redshank  (Tringa erythropus) is quite common here, but not in Singapore.
Curlew Sandpipers (Calidris ferruginea)
Curlew Sandpipers (Calidris ferruginea) bigger birds in photo with bill slightly curved down.
Black-winged Stilt
One of the most beautiful water birds, with long pinkish/red leg - Black-winged Stilt  (Himantopus himantopus)
Common Snipe  (Gallinago gallinago)
Pintail Snipe (Gallinago stenura)
Common Tern
Numerous of terns and gulls can be found here too. Such as this - Common Tern  (Sterna hirundo)
Brown-headed Gull,  (Chroicocephalus brunnicephalus)
Brown-headed Gull  (Chroicocephalus brunnicephalus)
Caspian Tern
Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia)
Black-tailed Godwit
Black-tailed Godwit  (Limosa limosa) with her super large bill.
Black-headed Ibis
Another uncommon encounter - Black-headed Ibis (Threskiornis melanocephalus). Very similar to Sacred Ibis that are now very common in Taiwan. Instead of black patch on tail, this Black-headed Ibis have grey patch on their tail.
Red-necked Phalarope
Red-necked Phalarope (Phalaropus lobatus) in non-bleeding plumage. My 1st time seeing this rare birds.
Pied Avocet
Another new bird for me, extremely beautiful shore bird that with a very unique bill - Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Spoon-billed Sandpiper
The bird of the trip will be this Spoon-billed Sandpiper (Eurynorhynchus pygmeus). It took us 2 days to find this beautiful bird. Managed only to take a record shot as the sunlight is really too harsh to take a proper photo.

Our list recorded more than 60 species at this site and they are just too many to be included in this post. You have to visit the site to look at yourself and be amazed by all the beautiful birds!

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