It is mid May now and all but a few of the commoner shorebirds have left Thailand and returned to their breeding grounds further north. However, there are always a small numbers of shorebirds to be found, mostly birds in their first year that did not mature enough to head to their breeding grounds and other individuals that did not put on enough weight to migrate. Species such as Marsh Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Lesser Sand Plover and Kentish Plover can usually be found in small numbers.
I spent some time this week reviewing some photographs of the commoner shorebirds that I took at Pak Thale and Laem Pak Bia earlier this year whilst leading a photography tour: Photography Tour of Thailand, March 2013. In March there were still large numbers of waders to be seen and a number of birds were coming into breeding plumage then too. We were able to get close to a number of the commoner species and get lots of photos.
The following are just a few of the many photographs that I obtained on the tour – it took quite some time to review them all.
Little Ringed Plover
Usually some of the commoner shorebirds begin to return by the end of July; these are the non-breeders and birds that have failed at nesting. This is a good time to see some species in their breeding plumage, particularly Curlew Sandpiper.
Often by August or September Asian Dowitchers begin to pass through and by end of September shorebird numbers are really increasing as migration gets into full swing. Every year we wait for some of the rarer birds to return and usually they have shown by the end of October; the most awaited species is Spoon-billed Sandpiper and hopefully it will arrive again this year even though its numbers are very low now.
By early November all the speciality species of shorebirds have returned to Thailand and Spoon-billed Sandpiper, Nordmann’s Greenshank, White-faced Plover and others can be found regularly.
If you need any help in finding these rare species contact me: email@example.com