Monday, 20 January 2014

Last Day Wrap-up

So we left the lodge early doors and spent the rest of the day around Petchaburi. Our first port of call was an open area of dry fields, marsh and reeds where we found numerous Ruddy-breasted Crakes, along with a couple of Eurasian Wrynecks, 8 Greater Painted Snipe, Black-browed Reed-warbler and a brief Watercock

Eurasian Wryneck
Walking along the road to another open area, we found a Paddyfield Pipit and then had superb views of an Indochinese Bushlark that actually landed about an inch from my speaker that was placed on the ground a few metres in front of us! 

Indochinese Bushlark
 Leaving here, the lure of Laem Pak Bia was too much and we decided to march out into the saltpans to try and find a Far Eastern Curlew amongst the several hundred Eurasian Curlews present. This we did and managed to find a single bird which we saw in flight initially before scoping it when the flock settled down. There was also Bar-tailed Godwit, Chinese Egret, and plenty of previously seen waders. Amongst some mangroves we nailed Golden-bellied Gerygone and Mangrove Whistler, plus I counted 39 Broad-billed Sandpipers along the shoreline. And boy was it rough out in the Gulf of Thailand as a strong easterly wind was whipping the waves into a frenzy and made our task very difficult today. From here we checked out a place for Black-faced Spoonbill without any joy, but did find Painted Storks and Black-headed Ibis before having lunch in a nearby restaurant.

The afternoon was spent driving around the ricefields in search of weavers and Nick knew a place where we saw Baya and, more importantly, Asiatic Golden Weaver very well. 

Asiatic Golden Weaver
A fine Eastern Imperial Eagle and a female Eastern Marsh Harrier were next up as we drove along a side road. Leaving here, a different set of fields was alive with birds and we saw a couple of Greater Spotted Eagles, an Osprey, male Eastern Marsh Harrier, lots of Red-throated Pipits and a Bluethroat

Greater Spotted Eagle
So that was our birding done and we had seen 302 species this week, including many of the most-wanted birds during a central Thailand tour. But not only that, it had been a rather jovial affair and I have to thank our lovely group for making it such a fun tour. And without the guidance of Nick Upton we would not have seen so many superb birds and a special thanks to him for looking after us so well and showing us the birds of his adopted homeland.

By 3pm it was time to leave and head back to Bangkok, where we said our goodbyes to Jeff, Heather and Phil who had all been excellent company and meet 3 new members of our team to head into the northern mountains tomorrow.

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