Rain Quail & Wryneck

I made two visits this weekend to Huai Mai Teng Reservoir. Firstly, on Saturday, with Tom Backlund who fancied a change of scene. This provided me with an opportunity to check out Rain Quail ahead of Sunday’s guests who were coming primarily to see this species.

Early on Saturday we flushed the Rain Quail in their usual spot which was adequate for my needs. Probably as many as ten Rain Quail but all in flight. No major surprises but otherwise a good selection of the usual suspects: notably an abundance of very effervescent Oriental Skylarks. Of note: an Osprey, a Darter, some Cotton Pygmy Geese, a couple of very uncharacteristically non-skulking Thick-billed Warblers, a few Small Pratincoles, good numbers of Oriental Pratincoles, good numbers of Bronze-winged Jacanas and a few Pheasant-tailed too; a couple of Red-rumped Swallows, a Richard’s Pipit. And of course it was hot! Great to be out birding with Tom again.

On Sunday I had three English birders, Howard Joliffe, Malcolm Goodman & Matt Mulbey visiting for Rain Quail. Funnily enough, it transpires I bumped into Howard and Malcolm in Kaeng Krachan on their  trip last year. These two have impressive Thai lists in excess of 650 species which are all the more impressive as they don’t live here. They are now at that stage where they have to target species as opposed to areas.

The good news is that on arrival we drove into 5 Rain Quail on the ground which allowed my guests fantastic views. The two males had them purring – a stunning sight. A great relief too, I hasten to add. So we enjoyed the show for about 20 minutes An added bonus was that Matt picked up a Eurasian Wryneck, which dipped down into the scrub but then reappeared and then offered excellent views. Best I have seen of this species. More importantly a patch tick.

Otherwise all the usual suspects including one Lanceolated Warbler and a number of Thick-billed Warblers. As serious listers the guys then headed off in the midday heat in the direction of Hua Hin for the Black-legged Kittiwake which Tom Backlund reported to be still present this morning

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