Gadwall, Thai Lifer ⌗ 371

Dave Sargeant’s NorthThailandBirding.com carries the best and most up to date information in English on latest sightings in Thailand. It really is excellent.  Thanks to Dave’s diligence I was able to bag a couple of very unlikely Gadwall this morning in Phetchburi province. From Dave’s GPS co-ordinates I knew the site almost immediately it came up on Google Maps – on our very own Drongo Lane, where we first ventured into birding almost four years ago.

So a pleasant dawn start with no adverse weather. As I passed through Wang Manao on the drive  south I observed a first Black Kite in this area for this year: it was crossing the main highway so to speak. In view of work commitments later in the day I went straight to the site and located the Cotton Pygmy Geese with which the Gadwall have been associating. I was  struck by the number of Pheasant-tailed Jacana that were showing. There were also a few Common Moorhen but there were no Gadwall.

I took the time to have a good scan and was mightily relieved that I had brought the scope with me as in these situations it can be invaluable. I scanned into a much larger pool in the distance and succeeded in bringing up two female Gadwall, both recognisable from their yellow bill and one which was displaying a patch of white secondary feathers. I count myself a fortunate fellow  as the ducks were airborne a few minutes later and they didn’t appear to be making a short hop to another spot; they were gone in seconds. In this state I got good views of one of the Gadwall’s white secondaries but in the other they were indistinct to the point of not being visible. But I have no doubt they were Gadwall and I felt mightily relieved to have got a decent enough look at them  to have been able to record two key features. I am getting near to 400 Thai birds.

In the same location I made out one Grey-headed Lapwing, two Bronze-winged Jacana and a couple of Blue-tailed Bee-eaters. On the drive home through Khao Yoi I rather fancy I had a brief view of a Pink-necked Green Pigeon but no claims as it was gone before I could get the bins on it.

Lovely way to start the weekend.

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