Thursday 8 March 2012

Thailand: SBSP galore & Beach Babes

In the morning we met a British birder (Pete) who was looking for a Spoon-billed Sandpiper. We gave him directions to where we found ours the previous day and decided to join him for the search.

We arrived about 15 minutes later than him because we checked the Nordmann's Greenshank spot (unsuccessfully) on the way. When we did arrive, Pete was already out searching. Mira and I checked the same spot we had the SBSP the previous day and were happy to see that it was there. We called Pete over to us but he signaled that he was already looking at one!
Greedy for more, we rushed over and had satisfying looks of 'Pete's Bird'. Amazingly I found another SBSP right next to his! 15 minutes later both flew about 100 meters away and we could see them sleep.
Happy with our success we chatted about the hundreds of Eurasian Curlews nearby. I began to scan them hoping to find a Far Eastern Curlew only to find yet another SBSP!
To confirm that this bird was the 4th individual we checked to see that the previous 3 were in the same spot we last saw them. Indeed they were!

But 4 is never enough. We continued our search to find a mere 72 more individuals, and yet we still wanted more. Or so I wish :)

Here's a brief video of 'Pete's SBSP':

In the afternoon Mira and I walked out to the sand spit (the same one we took a boat to the previous day). Along the way there were several Little Terns:

At the tip I managed to get relatively close to some Plovers by walking waist deep into the water and approaching them from there. I guess they don't think I'm a threat if they can't see my legs!

Greater Sand Plover:

Kentish Plover:

Sanderlings were doing their thing running around on the beaches:

While the sun began to set Mira and I went for a swim and snuck up on the Sanderlings from the water. They were totally oblivious to us as we approached them by 'riding the waves' and beaching ourselves like a whale!

My first ever pelagic is tomorrow! There's lots of potential for something exciting to turn up.