Monday, 14 May 2012

Waders at Khok Kham I

I really took a lot of photos during my short trip to the Gulf of Thailand in April. The first place where I visited was the internationally well-known place called Khok Kham, where I spotted a Spoon-billed Sandpiper in this post. I arrived at the birding spot late in the afternoon and the sky was covered with stormy clouds, even though it was extremely sunny just about 30 minutes before I arrived. Anyway, overcast weather also gave a nice chilly mood to these photos.

Broad-billed Sandpiper assuming breeding plumage

With a Lesser Sand Plover in the background

The race schaeferi of Lesser Sand Plover actually has completely black forehead.
This one is still on its way.

I spotted a flock of waders staying together in a pretty good number in a small salt pan not very far from the road side. I grabbed my camera and slowly tried to approach them. I slowly lowered myself down as I was approaching the birds and finally, I was lying on the ground fully and extremely slowly creeping towards them. I could get almost as close as 10m, which is not easy at all to do so in Thailand. Most of the birds that came closer to my were Broad-billed Sandpipers, Red-necked Stints and Lesser Sand Plovers. Most of them have already moulted into breeding plumage.

It was a nice day for birdscaping.

How Broad-billed Sandpipers feed

This shot was taken after it scratched its neck.

The same very territorial and aggressive Lesser Sand Plover

Another individual with fully black forehead

A Pacific Golden Plover in its smart breeding plumage

Broad-billed Sandpipers are really my favourite.

I noticed that most of the Red-necked Stints and Lesser Sand Plovers were very territorial and aggressive. They'd chase other individuals off as soon as they entered their territories. Other than the 3 species listed above, there were few Pacific Golden Plovers in smart breeding plumage, a pair of Red Knots, some Curlew Sandpipers, Marsh Sandpipers and lots of Black-winged Stilts.

This Red Knot was half way through its moult.

It was staying in pair with another bird in non-breeding plumage.

Another shot of the non-breeding individual

Lesser Sand Plovers in two different plumage

This one was the tamest. Unfortunately it just started moulting.

Few more birdscaping shots

A Broad-billed Sandpiper to end this post

To confirm that it really has a broad bill


  1. So many beautiful photographs, congratulations. I also see i've missed a few posts last week and will come back when I have more time to comment. What I have seen is really wonderful.

  2. Great wader shots, all I've got so far this spring have been very very shy Grey Tailed Tattlers.......

  3. Great shots of a rare wader Tony. Sorry I missed some of your posts while I was away but I will catch up soon. Best, Phil.

  4. Very nice images of the little waders.

  5. Good use of the softer light....Broad-billed Sandpipers can be really elusive, too.

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