Pied Harriers at Huay Mai Teng Reservoir

We may have a harrier roost in the making at Huay Mai Teng Reservoir on today’s showing: I saw four different males on the ground at the same time in the same patch late this afternoon. Male Pied Harriers are always a fine sight in their distinctive black and white plumage. However I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many together or in the same area with the exception of the harrier roost at Chiang Saen lake in Chiang Rai province. So I’ll need to keep my eye on this area and see what develops. These hawks can only have been present for a couple of weeks at most so their numbers may well increase as there is lots of good, hunting habitat in the surrounding area.The patch is reclaimed scrub close to works. The scrub has been removed as if in preparation for further works, leaving behind basically rough, flat earth mixed up with rock. The presence of two Richard’s Pipits was almost incidental as was the persistent calling of a number of Rain Quail – heard but not seen. There appears to be a fair amount of human disturbance around the patch so I’m not sure if it really is viable as a roost. Plus works are clearly pending so the area may become another large pool before I get back! But very interesting and exciting. I only managed 90 minutes today but it seemed the site was overrun with anglers: they were everywhere. Water level was still highish though it is not possible to drive across the road which cuts across the reservoir. Heaps of Blue-tailed Bee-eaters and Drongos. Watch this space!

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