Sunday, 26 February 2012

Prek Toal

We visited the core area of Prek Toal Reserve situated beside the huge Tonle Sap Lake today, which involves a two hour boat crossing followed by a shorter journey in small, 2-person boats. Our main reason for visiting here is to see Milky Stork and upon arrival it was apparent there are no visible nests from the viewing platform which is located 30 feet up in a tree. From this vantage point we could see the marsh and numerous ‘bushy’ islands where Painted Storks were nesting, along with a few Spot-billed Pelicans. So over the course of the next five hours we managed to get a couple decent views of a Milky Stork soaring in front of us, but the worrying thing was the presence of a couple hybrid birds which are a trap for the unwary! The other major highlight of the day was at least two pairs of Greater Adjutants seen soaring over the marsh, their huge size literally dwarfing the accompanying other storks! We also saw numerous other species here as well including Grey-headed Fish-eagle, Black-capped Kingfisher, Indian Cormorant, Black-backed Swamphen, Pheasant-tailed Jacana, Cinnamon and Yellow Bitterns, Blue-tailed Bee-eater,  and plenty of Asian Openbills. It was a long and tiring day but well worth the effort to see some rare species and we celebrated with copious beers in Siem Reap later in the evening.

Spot-billed Pelican

Painted Stork

Asian Openbill

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