Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Spoon Billed Sandpiper P7 & 05 at Pak Thale and Khok Kham - March 2018

Video grab of Spoon Billed Sandpiper P7, Ban Pak Thale, Thailand - March 2018

Arrival back in Bangkok was a bit of culture shock and felt a very long way from the peace & quiet of Sri Phang Nga and the soft-ness of the mudflats of Krabi Estuary. I headed out early on the Thursday morning to meet with Tii and we headed straight to Ban Pak Thale. The main aim for this today was to try and get some more Spoon Billed Sandpiper action.

This trip to Thailand I managed to see two flag ringed Spoon Billed Sandpiper's:


White flag P7 at Ban Pak Thale on the 01st & 07th March and Lime flag 05 at Khok Kham on the 08th March. I sent the details to Pavel T, who I was very fortuante to have spent a lot of time with when I was in Chukotka 2011 as I spent any spare time from the Spoon Billed Sandpiper surveys, assisting Pavel with his work on Red Knot and we continue to have annual contact. Pavel replied quickly with the information on both flag ringed individual's. The details are as below:

White P7 hatched on 8 July 2015 in Meinypilgyno and was raised in captivity, released on 29 July, last observed in the release area on 3 August 2015. There were a number of observations of this bird in Thailand in winter 2015/2016 and then again in November 2016. On 10 June 2017, it was seen once in a flock of Red-necked Stints east of

, and then again in Thailand in early December 2017. Buy the way, P7 is an offspring of Lime 05.

The female Lime 05 was marked on her nest ~12 km east of Meino on 20 June 2013. Since than she is breeding annually, sometimes twice in a season, and many of her clutches were taken for head-starting programme, and every winter she was spending in Khok Kham, Thailand. Occasionally she was olso observed in Rudong, China either in spring or autumn. We are looking for her return back to Meino in three months.

After lunch we headed back to Khok Kham (but on route I noticed an area of previous visits and so we checked that - more on the next blog post).

The following morning the sky was dark, cloud covered the sky for as far as the eye could see and thunder was rumbling in the distance. it was only a matter of time before the weather came in on us. It was a race against the clock as the temperature dropped and the sky just got darker and darker. Tii and I split up and started checking the relevant pools. I started going through a group of Broad billed Sandpipers where there was several hundred Curlew Sandpiper's and as I went through the flock I found my first ever flag ringed Curlew Sandiper, I was real pleased with this, which turned out to be ringed in the Northern territories, Australia, Thanks to Chris H for replying so promptly, two scope widths later, there was my second flag ringed Curlew Sandpiper, this time a Thai ringed bird. 

A pool full of Great & Red Knots most moulting in to summer plumaged drew my attention but Tii called me over to the next pool as he had located a Spoon Billed Sandpiper, but not just any Spoon Billed Sandpiper, this was the lime falged individual 05. I got the bird in the scope and even though a little distant the flag was obvious, I wanted to get some photos and or video but just at this point the rain came in and started at just after 08.00hrs and so we ran for cover, where we grabbed some breakfast and watched the rain & lightning and listened to the thunder rumble over head for no less than four full hours. it was so heavy all the pools on salt pans were full up with water with no mud visible-hence the birds moved out. I was lucky to have departed Krabi a day earlier as the Thursday and this morning allowed me to get what I was after. The TV news showed parts of Bangkok flooded with people knee deep in water. 

Broad billed Sandpiper - Ban Pak Thale - March 2018

After having walkaway views of the Spoon billed Sandpipers we decided to check out the pool with a good number of Broad billed and Curlew Sandpipers, a single Dunlin was noteworthy and then it was early after noon and time for lunch.
Broad billed Sandpiper - Ban Pak Thale - March 2018

Broad billed Sandpiper - Ban Pak Thale - March 2018

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