Savanna Nightjars back at Huay Mai Teng Reservoir

Small Pratincole
Small Pratincole

I have hardly done any birding this week but I did it make it out to Huay Mai Teng Reservoir this afternoon. What bliss! A Long-tailed Shrike was one of the first birds I saw today, followed soon after by a Hoopoe. I proceeded to the northern area of the reservoir to check on the Small Pratincoles – I would estimate in the region of 300 today. They were a little on edge and went up a couple of times. I noticed some were diverting to the gravel track for a “dooking” as we say in Glasgow;  “ducking” for non-Weegies; a refreshing splash in the cool water. It’s hot here at the moment and it is even affecting the birds.

So I set up the hide and got a couple of shots of these cuties. As I drove out lots of tiny Grey-breasted Prinias, a few Sooty-headed Bulbuls, some Brown Shrikes and a fair few Richard’s Pipits. I decided to head to the outlying north western pond and am glad I did. I found a location in the fading light with reeds and Reed-warblers, funnily enough! I had  Oriental and Black-browed, at least two of the latter reed-warblers and I don’t know what else! The Black-browed, normally a skulker,  even showed a little so I will go back with the hide and would dearly love to get a shot of a Black-browed Reed Warbler.In the vegetation on the nearby water surface there were at least 5 Pheasant-tailed Jacanas and 1 Bronze-wonged together with good numbers of Moorhen. It was idyllic really with a setting sun and beautiful, golden sun-drenched light. An added bonus was a Darter which flew over.

Then to what was once my stamping ground at this site, the northern end scrub, arriving in the dark where I was greeted by the unmistakeable call of Savanna Nightjars; I wouldn’t care to say how many, at least ten. What a sound! There was also something else mixed up with the nightjars, a much more melodic song which needs further investigation.. I should note here that I didn’t get sight or sound of Rain Quail at all today. Glad to be back out on the patch A very Merry Christmas to you all.

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