Sunday, 8 November 2009
Spoon Billed Sandpiper...
Another great trip to Asia comes to a close and as ever, any trip to the far east starts and ends with a trip to the salts pans of Khok Kham.I have even stopped over in Thailand to get "a fix" for this species whilst on route to Australia.
Ever since an early teenager and my first flick through the pages of Shorebirds (Hayman, Prater & Marchant)I found myself drawn to this bird. Back then, in the Mid eighties the only known reliable location to see Spoon Billed Sandpiper was on spring migration,during April on its northward migration as they passed through Mai Po Marhes reserve, Hong Kong. It seemed nothing more than a distant hope. News of a regular wintering site discoverred at the inner Gulf of Thailand made this a reality.I have visited the site of Khok Kham 7 consecutive winters in order to "quench the thirst" for this species. Now 7 years on I have seen 20+ birds including a group of 8 at Ban Pak Thale. This superb,unique species is classed as "citically endangered" with suggestions of less then 300 pairs remainng in the world. Surley seeing this footage strikes home the uniqueness of this bird and that we really need to do more to conserve the habbitats of this species on its, Breeding, Migratory stop over and winter site loacalities!