Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Wader heaven at Pak Thale and Laem Pak Bia

It's Christmas Day here in Bangkok - so Merry Christmas to everyone. Though with a Prawn Green Curry for dinner, sunshine and visits to the Grand Palace and Wat Pho temple it was distinctly unfestive. Just how I like it!

Yesterday, however, is the main reason for this post as to put it simply it was pure wader delight. On my previous visit to Thailand in 2002, I'd been fortunate to visit Khok Kham where I saw a single Spoon-billed Sandpiper but since then they've been found further down the coast at Pak Thale/Laem Pak Bia usually in greater numbers, a site where Nordmann's Greenshanks overwinter too - a species I'd not seen and a real target of this (non-birding!) visit to Thailand.
Spoon-billed Sandpiper Pak Thale 24th Dec 2012
Huge numbers, quality species and excellent views in nice light is all I can say. Saltpan birding is real easy, as most of you'll know - find the flocks of birds and then target the individuals. Peter Ericsson took me out of Bangkok for the day, and knowing the area well, the first flock of Red-necked Stints produced cracking views of 3 Spoon-billed Sandpipers (with another nearby)
Nordmann's Greenshank Laem Pak Bia 24th Dec 2012
I hadn't actually thumbed through the book until a few moments ago, but I saw a quite unbelievable 32 species of wader - including 4 Spoon-billed Sandpipers, 15 Nordmann's Greenshanks, 2 'White-fronted Plovers', several Malaysian Plovers, and large numbers of quality rares (from a Euro context) such as Great Knots (including a colour flagged bird; I'll be emailing you Simon!), Long-toed and Red-necked Stints as well as just nice species to see in good numbers like Marsh and Broad-billed Sandpipers.
male Malaysian Plover Laem Pak Bia 24th Dec 2012

Great Knot flock Pak Thale 24th Dec 2012

Red-necked Stints Pak Thale 24th Dec 2012

Perhaps I should write the answer on a postcard and send it to the BBRC?
Loads more photos to go with the day, but it's late at night and I want to be up early in the morning. Enjoy the Christmas leftovers everyone.


  1. 32 species of wader, now that's what i call a Christmas present......envious.

    Looking forward to some pics -

    Laurie -

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  3. May I add an image!