It had been a long time since I visited this particular site in Nakhon Pathom province; prompted to return from reports of a large number of Small Pratincole. Small Pratincole, in my opinion, are the cutest wading bird in existence. Having not seen them in person before, I planned a trip. In the vicinity is the only place I’ve encountered Indian Nightjar, so I was going to photograph them again also.
The area is full of aquaculture ponds, and in Thailand, this usually means dead birds entangled in nets, hanging after a slow torturous death. Thankfully, it seems most ponds here in Nakhon Pathom utilise lines of string above the ponds which prevent these unjustified deaths. Although I was informed this method can still harm larger birds such as Asian Openbills, it’s still a step in the right direction.
Large dark clouds were hovering around in the general area, causing some strong winds and a risk of rain. It was pleasant due to the coolness. Reaching a large flat area I encounter the Pratincoles, which included at least 67 Small Pratincoles and a fair number of Oriental Pratincoles.
The aforementioned Oriental Pratincoles were nesting alongside the Small Pratincoles. Pratincoles are very elegant with angular swallow-like wings, they catch most of their food in the form of insects on the wing. Making them atypical amongst other waders. Their small beak is a feature for this adaptation.
It was great to see all the Pratincoles, I wouldn’t recommend driving into this area though as their nests are scattered around and it would cause a lot of disturbance. Afterwards, I was going to photograph the Nightjars and the other waterbirds present on the ponds. There were Pheasant-tailed Jacana, Bronze-winged Jacana, Little Grebe, Lesser Whistling-Duck and Cotton Pygmy-Geese.
Before leaving I went to look at the Indian Nightjars. They are incredibly hard to spot, so you need to be slow and check in-front of you thoroughly. Their camouflage is so good I don’t recommend entering their ‘area’ but scan on the side-skirts to observe one.
Continuing with the theme of hard-to-see, walking along one of the paths I came across what seemed to be the nest of Red-wattled Lapwing. I was about 1 metre away before noticing, lucky I did!
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Continue to document and spread awareness of netting and trapping of birds in Thailand