Sunday, January 3, 2016

Got the Blues....

Pak Phli

As my last trip to Pak Phli failed to turn up any Bluethroats, one more trip was in order before going back to work on Monday.  I actually planned for Wednesday, but Tuesday night was too long so didn’t make it….. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday… same same… Saturday morning I woke up at 4:30, gotta go gotta go…..
 I arrived at just after 7 am. As I drove along the approach road, the first bird sighted was a Black-capped Kingfisher. A striking bird and one of my favourite kingfishers. As usual, hundreds of Black Kites lined the road roosting in the Eucalyptus trees.

Black-capped Kingfisher

Long-tailed Shrike

I drove down past the second bridge towards where I had seen the Bluethroats before, a single Long-tailed Shrike posed nicely, soaking up the morning sun. I chose my spot and went about setting up the hide.. Well, I hadn’t even taken the rest of the gear out when the first female Bluethroat flew down, right in front of me, almost with a look on her face of “Ok so I’m here, where are my worms!!!”



Rosy Pipit

Bluethroats, Stonechats, Plain Prinias and Rosy Pipits showed really well and it was interesting to note the pecking order… It seemed the Stonechats would warn off the Bluethroats, the Bluethroats chased away the Rosy Pipits and when a Prinia arrived, all dashed for cover….
A brief visit by a Chestnut-eared Bunting was the first lifer of 2016 for me, and it also put on a great display of mobbing a Bluethroat..

Chestnut-eared Bunting mobbing a Bluethroat

Chestnut-eared Bunting

 The second lifer of the day for me came in the form of a bright red flash passing to my left, as I peered out of the side flap of the hide, there it was, a Red Avadavat!!! A fantastic little bird with its striking red plumage.. It stayed around for such a short time I only managed 3 quick shots. Next time, I will remember to take some finch seed with me.

Red Avadavat

With the sun getting higher now and the birds becoming less frequent, I decided to have a drive around the perimeter road before heading back.The first bird I came across was the Plain-backed sparrow, with such a striking mix of colours to its plumage, why on Earth is it called “Plain”??? A Striated Grassbird was delightfully emptying its lungs a little further along the road, and then a Purple Heron just about rounded off my morning. 

Plain-backed Sparrow

Purple Heron

Striated Grassbird

Pak Phli is a wonderful place for birding at the moment, and being only a couple of hours from Bangkok it’s well worth a vist… 

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