Pak Phli with Glen Herrington November 14, 2016
A good friend of mine, really surprised me and few weeks ago by expressing his interest in going birding someday, so as I had been given a “heads up” on the Red Avadavat situation by another friend, Ali Bernie. Plans were made for Saturday, Glen and I headed off for Pak Phli at 4am. We arrived around 6am, so it was just beginning to get light. First call of the day had to be for the Red Avadavats. The hide was set and the waiting began. Glen had decided to take a walk around. As the sun rose over my back, it just got hotter and hotter with the Reds still to be seen. Glen returned from his walkabout, showing me a picture, and asking “is this what you are looking for??” So, he was already one up on me with the Reds!! I decided to take a look along road from the first crossing up past the kites to see if I could find the Osprey Ali had told me about. We turned around and headed up the track. There were quite a few Striated Grassbirds singing and a Long-tailed Shrike posed for us nicely. Just at the second crossing I spotted a Eurasian Wryneck, a lifer for me.
Turning left at the first crossing and heading along the road many Indo-Chinese Barklarks seemed to be playing “chicken” with me! Every time they flew up, they would land right in front of the trucks again! (As I have observed with Forest Wagtails before) We stopped at a spot along the road where it was lined with tall grass, and “Yes!” a flock of about 20 Red Avadavats were present. As much as I tried, handheld or in the hide, I just could not get a picture of the little beauties….
As we neared the end of the track, we saw many Grey and Purple Herons, but no Ospreys were present. At the end of the track, left and left again to head back down on the other side. Bronze-winged Jacanas were seen and an Oriental Darter obliged for a few great shots. Two approaching raptors turned out to be a pair of Ospreys, as they passed fairly low and directly overhead, we managed to get some great views and half decent pictures. We headed back to the shop for some more refreshments before going back to give the Reds another go. Again there was a good number in and out of the tall grass, but not one would oblige for a decent shot. By this time the sun was high and everything was quiet, so we decided to head back home for a few welcome cold beers… A great day overall, with Glen getting a fair number of birds on his first trip and me with another lifer.