Hooded Grebes - Patagonia - November 2016

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Tuesday, 31 December 2013

2013 - A year review

UK - A total of 17 BOU ticks this year wasn't too bad, but unfortunately missed out on several megas throughout the year, the most painful being the Grosbeak on Shetland, and getting the car packed and ready to go for the Needletail, only to find out it had flown into a small wind turbine, and died, wasn't ideal either.

Sussex Year List - Yet again no attempt at a big year (though next year may be different!!), however I still managed 207. The highlights being the Beachy Corncrake, Cuckmere AGP, the Rye Terek Sand. and the Sheepcote Radde's Warbler. A total of 9 county ticks this year.

 
Best twitch of 2013 - This has to be the Harlequin Duck on North Uist with Jake. An epic drive, but some quality birding when we got there. The Harlequin was on view straight away, an extra goodies with Snow Goose, Glaucous Gull, Canada Geese, Merlin, White-tailed Eagles and much more proved this to be a superb twitch.

Best find of 2013 - without doubt, the American Golden Plover in the Cuckmere.


Favourite birds of 2013 - Egyptian Plover, Spoon-billed Sandpiper, White-backed Night Heron & Adamawa Turtle Dove.

 

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Parrots at Old Lodge 28/12/13

On Boxing Day, DC & JFC found a group of 9 Parrot Crossbills on Old Lodge, Ashdown Forest, so today I set about trying to re-locate them. I arrived around 10.30, and it wasn't until 1.45 the group was found alongside the concrete access road, NW of the main car park. The group showed well for 20 minutes before flying out of view heading WNW.

In the 3 hours before this a large group of Common Crossbills were carefully scanned, and it wasn't until a group of 3 birds flew in that a bird stood out from the others. These 3 birds were extremely elusive and only 1 was confidently identified. It was a brute with a good looking bill and other positive features.

So, in theory there are more than likely 10 Parrots as the group of 9 are not associating with the other groups of Commons. A fantastic sight seeing some good looking Parrots for a change.

Although only males were photographed, superb looking female was seen through the scope, and was very obvious.

Nice to see so many Sussex birders today..........a whole 5 people!!!

                                                                              Bird no. 1


                                                                             Bird no. 2

Bird no. 3


Thursday, 26 December 2013

Boxing Day Bonus 26/12/13

I started the day off down the Cuckmere in superb frosty weather when I was rudely interrupted by twitter as someone had photographed a Brunnich's Guillemot in Portland Harbour. Unfortunately I was down by the scape (where the Spoonbill was still present), which meant a long jog back to the car, home for the wallet and food, and then to pick up Jake.

The traffic on the way down was grim, nearly taking two hours to get to Chichester, but soon the roads opened up and we were on our way.

On arrival the bird had drifted out of view but after a bit of manoeuvring around the harbour, the Brunnich's came into view, and as neither of us had taken a scope, we were very grateful it came within 15 metres. A brilliant bird and a big surprise, and even better I was hot on my heels for a change.



Brunnich's Guillemot at Portland
 
 


Thursday, 19 December 2013

Thailand 9/12/13

A very successful trip with Chris Glanfield and Ian Barnard. The total number of species seen was 225, which for 7 days isn't too bad. Hired a car with Hertz who were very cheap, but the car was good, and Chris soon realised it was an automatic when he went to change gear, with me and Ian nearly flying out of the front windscreen. However, great company and a great trip. A full report will be done for anyone who wants one, but for now, please scroll down several posts for the highlights.

We arrived in Bangkok around mid morning from our Turkish Airlines flight via Istanbul. Grabbed the car and went straight to Pak Thale to meet the local guide Tom Buckland. On the way he had text us saying a Spoony was present, but by the time we had got there, it had flown. Still, during the course of four hours we notched up a healthy 78 species. The night was spent at Byrde's Beach Resort.

Baan Lia
Black-headed Ibis - 4
Ashy Woodswallow - 1

Pak Thale
Greater Sand Plover - 5
Lesser Sand Plover - 20
Red-necked Stint - 50+
Pied Fantail - 2
Golden-bellied Gerygone - 2
Indian Roller - 1
Racket-tailed Treepie - 1

Wat Komnaram
Grey-headed Lapwing - 3
Asian Koel - 1
Collared Kingfisher - 1

Laem Pak Bia
SPOON-BILLED SANDPIPER - 1
Painted Stork - 20
Avocet - 10

Abandoned Building
White-shouldered Starling - 2
Pied Starling - 2
Wryneck - 1
Indochinese Bushlark - 3
Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker - 1
Grey-eyed Bulbul - 2

 Painted Stork
 White-vented Myna
 Asian Pied Starling
 Spoony Saltpan
Abandoned Building

Thailand 10/12/13

Up early to bird Laem Pak Bia where there wasn't a great deal of Waders on offer. Pak Thale was then the option before returning to Laem Pak Bia where finally the mass had arrived. On high tide, we took Mr Daeng's boat out to the sandspit (though a nice lunch was prepared for us by the lady of the shack). Just after lunchtime, we had to make a rapid move to Baan Maka on the outskirts of Kaeng Krachan as we had booked the hides.

Pak Thale
SPOON-BILLED SANDPIPER - 1
Broad-billed Sandpiper - 4
Asian Dowitcher - 1

Laem Pak Bia
Nordmann's Greenshank - 1, probably 3.......distant views
Long-billed Dowitcher -1........very rare in Thailand!!
Lesser Whistling Duck - 30
Oriental Reed Warbler - 1
Broad-billed, Curlew, Marsh Sandpipers were plentiful

Sandspit
Malaysian Plover - 2
Pacific Reef Egret - 1

Baan Maka
Slaty-legged Crake - 1
Scaly-breasted Partridge - 5
Bar-backed Partridge - 3
White-rumped Shama - 4
Siberian Blue Robin - 5 incl. a smart male
Puff-throated Babbler - 4
Brown-cheeked Fulvetta - 2
Large-tailed Nightjar - 1
Pallas's Squirrel
Common Striped Squirrel


 Spoon-billed Sandpiper
 Long-toed Stint
 Asian Dowitcher
 Malaysian Plover
 Slaty-legged Crake
 Laem Pak Bia
Sandspit


Thailand 11/12/13

We left Baan Maka early to get to the hides at Ban Sang Nok. Then slowly making our way into Kaeng Krachan NP we had many stops all the way up to Paneon Tong Campsite where we spent the rest of the light birding the campsite, which turned up some good bits. Even better the tents were already up on arrival. The drive up to the top is 4x4 only with a couple of steep-sided streams to compete against, which Chris enjoyed.

Ban Sang Nok
Greater Necklaced Laughing Thrush - 5
Lesser Necklaced Laughing Thrush - 10
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo - 1
Scaly-breasted Partridge - 3
Kalij Pheasant - 2.........amazing views
Red Junglefowl - 20

Nr Baan Maka
Watercock - 1
Chestnut-headed Bee-Eater - 2
Mountain Hawk-Eagle - 1
White-breasted Waterhen - 2
Black-browed Reed Warbler - 2
Sooty-headed Bulbul - 1
Coppersmith Barbet - 1

Kaeng Krachan NP
Greater Coucal - 1
Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher - 5
Great Hornbill - 2
Blue-winged Leafbird - 4
Blue-eared Barbet - 1
Yellow-vented Flowerpecker - 1
Black-headed Bulbul - 1

Paneon Tong Campsite, KK
Vernal Hanging Parrot - 2
White-throated Fantail - 2
Swinhoe's Minivet - 5
Rosy Minivet - 2
Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker - 1
Brown-backed Needletail - 3

 Kalij Pheasant
 Great Hornbill
 Blue-winged Leafbird
 4-5 species here


Thailand 12/12/13

The whole day was spent walking the area between 27km-31km. A whole host of species being seen with the addition of some superb scenic views. The highlight of the walk were some active Gibbons calling constantly, and with only brief glimpses it was a relief to have superb views of an adult and baby using us as target practise. At 4pm we made our way back down to Ban Krang campsite where before settling down, had a successful night drive.

Km 30-27, Kaeng Krachan
White-hooded Babbler - 5
Yellow-bellied Warbler - 1
Orchraceous Bulbul - 4
Hill Blue Flycatcher - 1
Black-throated Sunbird - 2
Rufous-fronted Babbler - 3
Chestnut-flanked White-Eye - 1 with Oriental
White-bellied Yuhina - 1
Golden Babbler - 5.......stunning
White-headed Gibbon - 2
Dusky Langur - 20

Panoen Tong Campsite
Black-winged Cuckooshrike - 3
Black-thighed Falconet - 1
Himalayan Swiftlet - 2
Crested Serpent Eagle - 1
Verditer Flycatcher - 1
Oriental Honey Buzzard - 1

km 30 - Ban Krang Campsite
White-browed Scimitar Babbler - 4
Asian Paradise Flycatcher - 1
Blue-throated Barbet - 2
Kajil Pheasant - 1
Plain-tailed Warbler - 1

Night Drive
East Asian Porcupine - 1
Common Palm Civet - 1
Collard Scops Owl - 1 h

 Golden Babbler
 Great Barbet
 Streaked Spiderhunter
 Flavescent Bulbul
 White-headed Gibbon with toddler


Thailand 13/12/13

The first few hours was spent wandering between streams 1 & 2 before leaving Kaeng Krachan to head for the Rice Fields just north of Petchaburi, which turned out to be an excellent move.
After getting lost a couple of times we finally found our way to Khao Yai, but due to the lateness of our arrival, we stayed in a nice B&B instead of in the park.

Streams 1&2, Kaeng Krachan
Crested Goshawk - 1
Orange-breasted Trogon - 1
Oriental Pied Hornbill - 3
Ruby-cheeked Sunbird - 2
Greater Flameback - 2
Crab-eating Mongoose - 1
Stump-tailed Macaque - 30

Petchaburi Rice Fields
Bronze-winged Jacana - 10
Pheasant-tailed Jacana - 6
Yellow Bittern - 2
Asian Golden Weaver - 30
Pink-necked Green Pigeon - 1
Cotton Pygmy Goose - 10
Lesser Coucal - 1
Plaintive Cuckoo - 1
Dusky Warbler - 1
PIED HARRIER - 1 male..........awesome!!

 Stripe-throated Bulbul
 
 Yellow Bittern

 Kaeng Krachan
Chris getting wet crossing stream 1

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Thailand 14/12/13

Our first full day at Khao Yai. We entered the park at first light and after waiting around to get some tents at Pa Gluay Mai Campsite, we walked trail C. After lunch we drove to Haew Suwat restaurant and walked the stream upriver til dusk where it was relatively quiet, but in the end we had good totals.
By now the campsite was crammed so we did a night drive instead, however every other person decided to do this instead.

Pa Gluay Mai Campsite
Little Spiderhunter - 2
Blue Whistling Thrush - 1
Fire-breasted Flowerpecker - 10
White-crested Laughing Thrush - 7
Puff-throated Bulbul - 2
Rosy Minivet - 4

Trail C & TAT Pond
Siamese Fireback - 1
Common Green Magpie - 3
Green-billed Malkoha - 2
Brown-backed Needletail - 2

Haew Suwat stream
Bar-winged Flycatcher Shrike - 6
Moustached Barbet - 1
Blue-eared Kingfisher - 1
Banded Bay Cuckoo - 1
Wreathed Hornbill - 3
Hill Myna - 4
Asian Fairy Bluebird - 2

Night Drive
Large-tailed Nightjar - 4

White-crested Laughing Thrush
Black-naped Oriole
Greater Flameback
Wreathed Hornbills
Blue-eared Kingfisher