It was looking at this setting sun yesterday evening that I decided it was time to get my act together. I had been on Lanta 7 days already and I was in need of some birding out on the mudflats of Krabi estuary. With this plan now set I was up at 05:30 this morning and took a quick look at the peaceful beach with the moon still shining pretty bright (photo below) and the tide the lowest I have ever seen it on Klong Nin beach. There were a few party goers making their way back from the full moon party of which I gave a swerve. I have been to enough in the past and I didn't feel the urge to participate this time. ((age related ?)) I then took the ferry from Koh Lanta - Krabi and arrived back in Krabi centre at around midday. I then got a room, grabbed some breakfast and then went and found a new boatman to take me out in the estuary over the next few tides. I looked at the tides for Krabi on easytide (see links) and it showed I could get some rising, high and run off tide action. The boatman took some negotiating but I managed to get him down to 200 Baht from his original quote of 400 baht per hour. I then took a walk along the river-front and decided to have a look at this new walkway through the mangroves. Must admit I was impressed and I had no bins, scope or camera with me but I did have my iPhone and for a laugh I thought i'd play Mangrove Pitta on loudspeaker. I was stunned that a bird responded within seconds! and flew in and perched right in front of me no less than 12 feet away providing those calssic profile shots. If only I had my camera, "I was gutted" shortly after this another Mangrove Pitta was on show just on the edge of the walkway at around 8ft away on the ground! I was stunned, I glanced along the walkway when I saw 2 birders with bins. I beckoned them over and they saw the Mangrovve Pitta. We bgan chattng and it was a UK couple Jeremy & his wife and being as useless as I am with names I have totally forgotten, sorry) now based in Singapore. I then left them to it and walked back to my Guest House where on the route back I got totally drenched as another storm passed through. I then waited for the storm to pass through and went back out this time with all the required optics. I got the new boatman to take me up the through the mangroves to the walkway. Jeremey and his wife were still present and I played the iPhone again and a Mangrove Pitta responded again but this time it called from high up in the tree's before finally coming in to give good views when a Thai family passed by and the Pitta slipped off in the undergrowth of the Mangroves, However more views after as the bird began calling again. Photo above shows the new concrete walkway through a small section of the Mangroves at Krabi and the photo below is the best I could get of the Mangrove Pitta with the 20x optical camera. This surely has to be the easiest place ever to see Mangrove Pitta.
I then took the boat out to the estuary where the low tide revealed a huge expanse of open mudflats and I began scanning for waders. There were around 20 Greater Sandplover's most of which were in nearly full SP. Terek Sandpipers were also present and around 10 fed in various open channels. Common Greenshanks were calling in the distance whilst Whimbrels flew by throughout and just as I found a nice feeding group of Waders in the distance and managed to get close this Brahmany Kite (photo below) spooked them all before landing close by!