Thursday 8 November 2012

Mad dogs and Wader Quest...

... go out in the mid-day sun! Yes we were trudging around a boggy area at mid-day searching for the Greater Painted Snipe, which eventually we did manage to see when we flushed one from the side of the track. However we started the day in a rather more sedate and comfortable way visiting the fish ponds at the King's Project in Lampakbia.

On our way there we had added Common Redshank to the Thailand wader list, but it was not until we were leaving the site that we came across another new wader. We found three snipe hunkered down beside some experimental reed patches and when they flew they revealed themselves to be Pin-tailed Snipe.
Common Redshank
So we added two more species to the list but neither got photographed, unlike the Common Sandpiper and Pacific Golden Plover below.
Common Sandpiper

Pacific Golden Plover
We returned to our hotel for some breakfast overlooking the sea from our window.
Luxury or what?

Charmingly presented breakfast
Feeling guilty and pampered it was then that we headed for the Painted Snipes as mentioned above just so we felt like we were suffering in the name of Wader Quest. And suffer we did, after a while the heat got to us and we decided to have another break and catch up with some paperwork and e-mails until it got a bit cooler.

Once we were brave enough to venture forth again we returned to the King's Project. Here we soon added Common Snipe, this time not skulking in the long grass like the Pin-tailed Snipes earlier, but wandering around in the open on one of the muddy pools.
Common Snipe
Here too we came across a trio of Temminck's Stint and a Long-toed Stint accompanying them.
Temminck's Stint

Long-toed Stint
Towards the end of the day we came across a Pacific Golden Plover and a Black-winged Stilt that were colour flagged; black flag over green flag right tibia and a metal ring on the left tarsus. We'll endeavour to find out where they were flagged. Interestingly the Black-winged Stilt was being set upon by all the other stilts present, was this because he was from out of town, or were they being prudish about his funky leg wear?
Colour flagged Pacific Golden Plover

Colour flagged Black-winged Stilt
An interesting, if distressing, event earlier in the day shows that problems for birdlife are still very much present in Thailand. Although the species concerned is not a wader, White-breasted Waterhen,  it is worth a mention here. we came across this bird looking highly distressed with its leg in a trap fashioned from string and twigs.
Distressed White-breasted Waterhen
We released the bird and it flew off into the mangrove.
Untangling the bird's leg from the trap

Releasing the bird. A good feeling.
This just goes to show that there is still a long way to go as far as changing attitudes towards wildlife is concerned in some of the less well off parts of the world, after all, this is supposed to be a protected area where they are planting mangroves as far as I can make out, so finding traps being set in full view was a little surprising.

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