Friday, 7th Dec., White Beach, Thailand. This place is fantastic! Just a couple of hours from Bangkok, on the gulf coast – a small collection of holiday chalets and a few local restaurants, right in the middle of the most extraordinary wader habitat I’ve ever seen! There are ten miles of salt-pans between Pak Thale and Laem Pak Bia just crawling with birds, including three of the regions most endangered species – Spoon-billed Sandpiper, Nordmans Greenshank and Asian Dowitcher.
Over the past three days we’ve covered what feels like every square metre of the place, often in the ‘heat of the day’, looking for these rare birds and, as I write this blog, I’m delighted to say we’ve seen them all – we’ve also seen a host of superb ‘supporting cast’ birds!
Sign to the recently established Spoon-billed Sandpiper site
The first of the rare wader trilogy – Asian Dowitcher. They’re the shorter, spotty ones – mostly looking right!
…and the star of the show Spoon-billed Sandpiper. There are thought to be fewer than 200 pairs left in the world and the site at Pak Thale is critical to their survival. Congratulations to the Thai birders and authorities for protecting their habitat!
One of the many ‘bonus birds’ – the bird on the right is Milky Stork – a scarce bird in Thailand.
Sunset over the Wat at Laem Pak Bia