20th February 2023
In the last three days, I’ve turned up two very rare birds in the area of Keang Lawa and if accepted, a first for Thailand and at last I finally connected with another mega for Thailand, the long staying male FALCATED DUCK.
A local British birder who lives ten minutes from my digs, Paul Farrel, picked me up first thing as he was keen to search for the Isabelline Shrike and needed me to show him the area where I observed it. I wasn’t hopefully after spending over five hours yesterday. As I was birding his local area, he also wanted me to get him on yesterdays Grey Plover as it was a patch tick. In turn, Paul guaranteed that I’ll get the Falcated Duck and Baikal Teal. seemed like a fair deal. However, it was a repeat of yesterday morning with no sign of the Isabelline Shrike but I did get a world tick thanks to Paul. The usual’s were still present, Siberian Rubythroat, Bluethroat, Amur Stonechat, Brown Shrike and the new species, not one but 4 Pallas’s Grasshopper Warbler. In fact, there were probably a lot more as Paul picked them up by call bordering the amazing grassy path. He tape lured them out and we were rewarded with some awesome views for a very skulky species. Great stuff!
Out of the 4 Pallas’s Grasshopper Warbler, this individual was a real show off for a PGTips.
Also a few Black-browed Reed Warbler knocking around
With Dusky Warbler
Despite no sign of Issy Shrike, I couldn’t of asked for a better start and we headed for the south of the lake, if it’s still there, to get the Grey Plover and hopefully those two blasted ducks. We went through the large numbers of Garganey with a fine tooth comb, some 30 Teal, female Shoveler but not a sniff of the ducks were we after. However, I got another tick, Brown-cheeked Rail and on the second attempt, the Grey Plover was still there feeding with the Long-toed and Temmink’s Stints, 30 Black-tailed Godwit and Kentish Plover. Near to the bridge, I spotted some 50 Garganey on the opposite side from the main flock. The light was so bad, looking into the sun, but Paul set up his scope while I scanned from his pick up with my bins. Although I couldn’t see any detail, as everything was silhouetted from the sun, I picked out the male FALCATED DUCK and asked Paul if I could look through his scope but he was on it as well at the same time. Fortunately the flock flew over and joined the 300 Garganey. Here the light was spot on and we were rewarded with cracking views. It’s now the second time I’ve dipped out on Baikal Teal after twitching last winter, Ian Grants male at Aqualate, Staffs the day after he had it. Paul was also hoping for the Hen Harrier I had a few day ago but no joy with that as well.
After four days of goin through large flocks of Garganey, I finally connected with this crackin male FALCATED DUCK, less than twenty records for Thailand, that Paul Farrell discovered on the same day he turned up another mega duck, male Baikal TEAL.
The 20 Small Pratincole were still present
With the Falcated Duck finally in the bag and Paul with his patch tick, Grey Plover, we came away in good shape and drove around to where I had the Small Pratincole. Less numbers of Collard Pratincole but the 20 Small Pratincole were still on the hard mud banks. We were on another Brown Shrike, when Pied Harrier flew through and the end of the day we reckon we had three individuals and 2 Eastern Marsh Harrier. Early afternoon and it was time to head back to the city. Just north of the lake, we stopped off an area where starling and Myna hang out in large numbers feeding on the fruit trees. A scan saw 8 Chestnut-tailed Starling and the one I was hopping for, as I had never seen one before, 5 White-shouldered Starling. There were also single Wryneck and Long-tailed and 2 Brown Shrike.
The 5 White-shouldered Starling were another life tick added out of the three I observed today
One of the Brown Shrike out of the three that we saw today Paul told me that the grey head indicates the race called ‘Philipinno’ I’ve come across a few of these already.
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