Saturday, 3 March 2018

Spoon Billed Sandpiper 4 - Ban Pak Thale, Gulf of Thailand.

So with the beast of east hitting the UK and severe weather warnings of heavy snowfall and -5 conditions forecast for the south of the country there really was only one thing to do and that was to head for warmer climes. A five hour delay and an eleven hour flight later and it was a totally different feeling, blue sky, fire-balling sun and tempreatures in the 90f region. So back again in Siam where the first port of call was KSR where I met with Sam W and then we headed out to the salt pans of Ban Pak Thale and Khok Kham.  

A good start with a Spoon Billed Sandpiper being seen shortly after arrival but as we were just working out how to go-in for views of the individual above a lone worker from the salt pans walked along the nearest bund flushing everything. It was then a case of "the run-around" for the rest of the morning before finally seeing two Spoon Billed Sandpipers together at closer range for a prolonged period but just not quite close enough to get the proper shot with just the 1-400. Even digi-videoing was limited due to the heat hazed conditions.

A total of four Spoon Billed Sandpiper were seen today at BPT which consisted of a single leg flagged individual P7 and 3 non flag wearing birds. The usual selection of waders provided plenty of support. 

Red necked Stint, Great Knot, Long Toed Stint, PGP, Broad Billed Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper 2 in full sp, Marsh Sandpipers, Sanderling 6, Red Necked Phalarope 5, Lesser & Greater Sandplover of which the later were looking rather smart in sp, White Winged, Whiskered, Little and Caspian Terns and Brown headed Gulls all present throughout the day. 

As the midday sun peaked and the heat became just to much & with a worsening heat haze we decided to break for lunch. After a late lunch we headed back to Khok Kham but stopped on route at a site for Oriental Pratincole that Tii took us to. A short walk provided about 6 birds but it was only after covering more ground when we realised just how many birds the actually were with a tally of c150 Oriental Pratincole. A great site to see so many Oriental Pratincoles, along with 6 Grey Headed Lapwing, several Long Toed Stints, Wood Sandpipers and a single PGP. 

Continuing on we arrived at Khok Kham for the last couple of hours of light where despite extensive searching between the three of us we were unable to locate any Spoon Billed Sandpipers here as the sun set over the salt pans, however a good day, some great birds, decent weather and good company. 


  1. Thailand must be much more fun the Britain in the snow !

  2. Nice one, Simon! God, I wish I was there. It's been too long! Sweet memories, Thailand is were we first met afterall