Wednesday, November 16, 2011
SW Thailand - high tides & long tails
It wasn't all swimming in the Andaman, sipping cold beers in the shade, eating delicious food at the waterfront night markets and watching sunsets from the roof garden while in Krabi; oh no. There were a few birds here and there also.
As well as the aforementioned regular visits to Thara Park, we also enjoyed a handful of sessions along the mangrove walkway (see following posts), and several trips out into the mangrove and along the coast via traditional long-tails (the de rigour mode of transport locally).
Although a generally crappy time of year for the specialist species, drifting silently through primeval mangroves during warm, blanket rain or as dawn broke with just the eerie conversation of Macaques for a soundtrack was worth the boat-hiring pittance alone, and we enjoyed some good birds for our troubles.
Kingfishers were wonderfully ubiquitous, with a hatful of species encountered; Collared, White-throated, Common, Ruddy, Black-capped, and commonest (and most impressive) of all, Brown-winged.
Out on the mud, waders were surprisingly hard work and thinly-spread; Whimbrels, Common Redshanks, Common Sandpipers and Lesser Sand Plovers being the most abundant, with odd Bar-tailed Godwits, Wood Sandpipers and Eurasian Curlews here and there.
There were, however, a few Terek Sandpipers along the shore, which were great value (especially with their distinctive feeding style). Otherwise, terns were a regular sight, with Whiskered, Little and White-winged Black along the river.