Rain Quail on the Ground

For the first time in ages I had clear views of Rain Quail at Huay Mai Teng reservoir on Saturday morning. There was a small group of five foraging in some mixed grass and it felt good to get my sights on them. In fact it was wonderful watching the male’s black breast which merges into a  sublime caramel colouring. Such were my views I could see that the males’ upperside  yellow streaking was more pronounced and striking than that of the females. A very happy spectacle indeed. I had been checking out the whereabouts of Small Pratincoles at the “usual” place close to the point where the road across the reservoir disappears under water on its northern side. As I rummaged I managed to flush about 8 Rain Quail and I was able to follow them until they came down in some scrub a couple of hundred yards away. As I say, a bonnie sight.

It was a great morning. A fair few Small Pratincoles but no major flock, perhaps 30-40 dispersed around the site; there were also about 20 Oriental Pratincoles; these were on the move but I did count four on the ground; three Common Snipe, 2 Grey-headed Lapwing, lots of Little Ringed Plovers, a few Wood Sandpipers and there were also good numbers of Pheasant-tailed Jacanas

Then the little brown jobs: definites on Black-browed Reed Warbler,Thick-billed Warbler and Lanceolated Warbler; the latter perched very nicely for me deep inside a bush.It really helps to get a look at these otherwise elusive warblers. There were other little brown birds too, in particular a pair of very similar plain light brown coloured warblers which I couldn’t identify. Add in an Indochinese Bushlark, the continued presence of Richards Pipits, three Rosy Pipits, several Oriental Skylarks – a great couple of hours.

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