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Beach Thick-knee Close Up – Thailand Birding

Last month I made two short visits to Southern Thailand where a long-staying Beach Thick-knee had been repeatedly seen at Laem Pakarang in Phang Nga province. Both of my trips took me to this site after some birding in the mangroves and on both occasions I was lucky enough to see this weird and wonderful bird. Although I had seen Beach Thick-knee in Australia, Java and Sumatra this was a Thai “tick” and having not seen one for nearly twenty years it was a very welcome sighting. As happy as I was with the first sighting, my second sighting on 22nd March was something special. Read more »

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Oriental Plover at Pranburi – Thailand Birding

Last night I was driving home from Southern Thailand and as it got dark I decided to spend the night somewhere before continuing the journey the next day. As I was close to Hua Hin I thought I would find somewhere to stay near Pranburi Forest park and check the location for passage migrants the next morning. The idea was just to have something to do in the morning, I had no real expectations beyond some of the commoner passage migrants. As it happened the decision turned out to be a moment of inspiration as when I checked out the waders on the beach at around 10am this morning (29th March) alongside a group of Sand Plovers there was an Oriental Plover; a very scarce passage migrant in Thailand and the first time I had seen this species. Read more »

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Central Thailand – Thailand Birding

Having had a very enjoyable tour of the North the Zootherabirding group and I moved on to the central leg of the tour in mid February. Visiting Wat PraPhuttabaht Noi, Khao Yai, Pak Thale/Laem Pak Bia, Petchaburi Rice Fields and Kaeng Krachan National Park turned up a wide variety of exciting species from wetlands, forest and open-country. Spoon-billed Sandpiper would have been top of most people’s favourites list but species such as Great Slaty Woodpecker, Black-and-red Broadbill, Nordmann’s Greenshank, Slender-billed Gull, Black-naped Tern, Grey Peacock Pheasant, White-browed Crake, Asian Golden Weaver, Banded Kingfisher and many others made this a very successful trip. Read on for a summary of this section of the trip and a selection of photographs. Read more »

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Northern Thailand – Thailand Birding

I have just returned home having led the Zootherabirding North & Central Thailand trip which was a great success in terms of both numbers and quality of birds. As usual the North provided us with a lot of good birding, nice flocks, colourful birds and wonderful photo opportunities with a long list of highlights including Mrs Hume’s Pheasant, Pin-tailed Parrotfinch, Baikal Teal, Brown-cheeked Rail, Black-eared Shrike-babbler, Grey-sided Thrush, Lanceolated Warbler, Pied Harrier, Jerdon’s Bushchat as well as many old favourites such as Scarlet-faced Liocichla, Dark-sided Thrush, Silver-eared Mesia, Giant Nuthatch and loads more. The following is a short summary of our time in the North of Thailand and some photos from the trip. Read more »

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East Coast Gulls – South Korea Birding

Earlier this week, as part of our Zootherabirding tour of South Korea, we spent a few days travelling down the East coast of this East Asian country, stopping in many harbours and bays to look for seabirds and a number of gull species. The sheer numbers of gulls was mind-blowing, with around 50000 in just one bay, including around 10000 loafing around on the beach and we kept shaking our heads in amazement of the spectacle. Of course we also took time to identify and understand the East Asian species as well as try to pick out a few rarities which we did successfully. The large numbers of these birds on the beach gave us plenty of opportunities to photograph them. Read more »

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Cranes in the Citizen Controlled Zone – South Korea Birding

Today we spent almost the whole day on the South Korea/North Korea border, spending much of our time in the Citizen Controlled Zone, having obtained special permission to enter this area of high military presence. This area of the Cheorwon Plain is the main wintering area, in Korea, of Red-crowned Crane with also large numbers of White-naped Crane and our expectation was to see large numbers of these birds as well as a host of other top quality wintering species, including Raptors, Buntings, Finches and Wildfowl. Read more »

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National Arboretum – South Korea Birding

Today was the first of an eleven day birding trip to South Korea that I am leading on behalf of Zootherabirding, having led a similar trip to the country one year ago. After meeting everyone at Incheon airport, Seoul, we drove straight to the National Arboretum where we spent the whole afternoon birding around this lovely woodland park with a covering of snow and with intermittent snow showers creating an idyllic winter scene. Our ┬ámain target here was Solitary Snipe but there was also a lot more to enjoy here. Read more »

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