Sometimes I find it difficult to summon the wherewithal to go out birding. I am by no means on auto-pilot in the sense of free-time meaning birding-time. I work hard and long hours and I have the not insignificant matters of two small kids and a dear wife. I have many reasons for staying home! Moreover the driving can be a bit wearisome at times too. So Saturday afternoon I was pleased to head up to Huay Mai Teng Reservoir, a gentle 30 minute spin from home. I took it nice and easy. I checked out the Small Pratincoles, quite literally a shufti. There were about about 90 birds, down from a last count of about 300 but as I say this was nothing more than the briefest check. As always I was pleased to see the birds and there were also two Richard’s Pipits in attendance nearby.
In the west of the site I set up the hide to try and capture some shots of warblers in the reeds and grass. As I drove in a female Kestrel was perched on a tree but didn’t take kindly to my arrival. She took to the air and did a bit of circling and hovering and then headed to quieter surroundings. I set up the hide with a view to getting some images of warblers but alas, with the exception of an obliging Oriental Reed Warbler, I drew a blank. The Oriental Reed is interesting as the image clearly shows a new field characteristic for me: the whitish tail tips. For this I am indebted to the excellent guide to Reed & Bush Warbler Taxonomy published in the BCST web site at this link. The Black-browed, of which I noted three, would not perform for the camera. The best bird from a photographic perspective was a rather worn Common Kingfisher.
Twelve Pheasant-tailed and three Bronze-winged Jacanas were nearby in amongst a fair few Common Moorhen. As I was packing up in the beautiful, golden light that characterises late afternoons here, a pair of Oriental Darter took to the air in the distance and put on a kind of fly past. In the “usual” place I didn’t get so much as a whisper of Rain Quail but at least six Savanna Nightjars were calling. One of them very obligingly perched closeby and allowed good views; the two distinct white patches on its neck were clearly visible.
A most relaxing and stress-free way to pass a few hours in the afternoon which allowed me to drive home and play with my kids before the football.