I had a few hours at Huay Mai Teng this morning in the comparative gloom and had a good rummage around the northern part of the site: still no sign or sound of Rain Quail. Now they have got to be around, the question is where? I’ll feel mightily relieved when I finally hear their call.
Yet it was fun this morning: four raptors. A huge Osprey, a Kestrel, a stunning, male Pied Harrier and a Black-shouldered Kite. Also a few Thick-billed Reed Warblers, one of which actually showed well and made me regret leaving my digiscoping rig at home; in fact there were about 5 of them in a mixture of scrub and plant. The call drew me in and after some perseverance one emerged, perched briefly, looked like an acrocephalus but devoid of any supercilium; the bill was shortish and thick, darker upper mandible than below. I have just reviewed my list and I have recorded Thick-billed Warbler as a lifer in November 2011; I have updated my list as today’s bird was clearly a better record.
I started early today and drove into the launch area in darkness at 0615 where I was greeted by the calls of a Savanna Nightjar; the only visible bird there was a Little Ringed Plover. As daylight slowly emerged I headed over to the usual Rain Quail spot, where there was plenty of Savanna Nightjar activity. Funnily enough the calling stopped precisely at 0630h almost as if they had been programmed or someone had thrown a switch. In addition to the birds already mentioned I had great views of Oriental Darter and I noted Cotton Pygmy-geese were present in quite decent numbers; the only birds of note in the Rain Quail spot were two Indochinese Bushlark. No Rain Quail but great birding.