This is Day 3.2 of a 19-day birding tour of Thailand; it was a private group arranged through Field Guides, adhering to their typical itinerary. The pictures in this post are just some of the many Thailand pictures I’ve uploaded to GreatBirdPic.com. Check out the site before you leave: see the Latest Pics uploaded by our members or read the About GPB to find out more about the site. You are welcome to join if you enjoy bird photography.
We had a short ride to our next destination that day: a boat ride down the Luam Luang canal to the Gulf of Thailand. Of course this was not a “touristy” boat ride but a short pelagic boat ride. The term “pelagic” means ocean or sea and pelagic boat rides for birders take you out to where birds that only live away from the mainland can be found. Our target on this day was the Malaysian Plover. We boarded our two boats in the harbor where every boat was brightly painted.
Like most harbors there were some birds around and I found this Great Egret perched on the long propeller shaft of one of the boats. The shafts are long so the propeller can be placed just below the surface, keeping it free of vegetation or hitting the shallow bottom.
We did see some birds along the trees that lined the canal. This Little Cormorant spreads its wings to dry them out. Although cormorants swim and dive for food, their feathers are not waterproof like most waterfowl. So after being in the water awhile it perches in the sun and dries out its feathers so they don’t become waterlogged.
This Chinese Egret lives in limited areas of Thailand and it is an Endangered species. As soon as our guide Dave spotted it he had the boats quickly turn around and head back toward it. It stayed around just long enough to snap a couple of pics.
As we resumed our trip toward the Thailand Sea this Brahminy Kite circled above, perhaps thinking this was a fishing boat, looking for some scraps.
Alas, our trip out into the Thailand Sea was not meant to be. As we progressed down the canal the wind blew harder and harder. The Thai crew on the boat assured us that the waters out in the sea would be very choppy and unsafe and they recommended that we return to the harbor.
Along the way Dave spotted some flying fox up in the trees.
By the time we disembarked it was Snack Time! Our local tour operator Wat obtained snacks and beverages twice a day for us to enjoy and gave us a chance to relax a bit. I couldn’t wait for my first Diet Coke of the day; others anticipated a cup of coffee. Wat often would find local sweets for us to try, and I did try them all. You can see below that some of them came wrapped in a bamboo shoot. It’s also interesting to note that over the 19 days not one of us became ill from food – the Thais were very fastidious when preparing food for us.
While we ate our snacks I watched a man going back and forth in a little pond nearby carrying vegetation. My best guess is that the vegetation would become someones food. A peaceful kind of guy.
We boarded our vans and took off for another salt marsh in the vicinity. After that we made our way up the coast and stopped for lunch, from which we had some great views of local birds, which can be found HERE.
For the over-achievers, below are the links to the Ebird Checklists we completed at each stop. They contain a complete list of all the birds seen and some pictures that were not displayed here. Clicking on the name of any species will take you to its Ebird file, which includes facts and pictures.