Thursday, March 29, 2012

Birding at Bung Boraphet, Thailand

Bung Boraphet is a man made reservoir originating from a natural basin situated close to the city of Nakhon Sawan, where the two rivers, Mae Nam Nan and Mae Nam Ping meet. During wet season, the size can reach to 600 sq km which is very close to the size of Singapore! It is also one of the biggest wetland in Thailand.

The majority of the people living around the lake/reservoir gain their livelihood from both farming and fishing and the lake is the largest source of fishery products for central Thailand.
Bung Boraphet is also an Important Bird Areas(IBA). Birding can be done with renting a boat and explore this areaon your own pace. This place can be visited in any season but visit during birds migratory period will see more species.
Once you leave the jetty, you will be welcomed by the sea of lotus & hundreds of birds!
This pair of Black Crown Night Heron is preparing to breed.
Black Drongo perch on the vantage point looking for unlucky flying insects for breakfast.
I've lost count of the number of Darter after 5 minutes. There are so many of them!
Chinese Pond Heron taking flight when we come closer.
It can't be denied that Cotton Pygmy-Goose are very beautiful & cute!
Pheasant-Tailed Jacana is in breeding plumage too! Look at the long tail!
A very skittish Bronze Winged Jacana.
It may looks like Grey Heron but it is a Asian Openbill.
Little Cormorant is looking for food in the reservoir.
The Little Grebe.
Black Winged Stilt just look at us while we cruise pass them.
Flock of Pied Kingfisher fly pass us on the top.
A not so common Glossy Ibis.
I didn't realise that Purple Swamp Hen can actually hold their prey with their leg!
This place was badly hit by the flood last year! The water mark on the roof of the building give the indication of the seriousness of the flood.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Raptor Watch 2012

I have been hearing about this special event for more than 10 years and this is the 1st time I'm attending this annual nature wonders. The very first Raptor Watch was held way back in year 2000! Raptor Watch is now one of the biggest eco-tourism in Malaysia!
Since this is my first visit there, after getting a few friends we decided to stay at the resort where the event was held - Ilham Resort! Not the best option in terms of economy. But is where the event was being held, so the convenience really cost a lot more.
We timed our arrival one day earlier to avoid the crowd so that I can explore the inter-tidal area. The last time I visited here was more than 2 decades ago!!
Corals & crabs can be seen during this hot afternoon. But I'm more interested in the army that will emerge in short while...
Saw the 1st one...
and soon the whole army emerge from no where!! It was a very unique experience to be swarmed by thousands & thousands of small little crabs! You may watch the video here from my earlier post.
Lots of activities going on at the main event area and this is also a good opportunity to try out new camera, new bino or simply find out more about other nature area that is available both local or in the region.
I'm particularly interested to find out more about birding in Taiwan.
There are lots of IBA (Important Bird Areas) in Taiwan with many endemic bird species! I will have a hard time deciding where to start... :)

Some of the endemic birds of Taiwan.
While on our way to the highlight of the event which is happening at the Tanjung Tuan Lighthouse just next to the resort aA brief direction of the migratory path was shown on the sign next to the lighthouse.

After 10 minutes or so, we finally reach the lighthouse!!

It was a super hot day and see how my friends try to hide from the sun...
Other than raptors, this place is also a good area to watch this cute leaf monkeys. Looking forward to the next Raptor Watch in 2013!!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Soldier Crabs

During low tide, thousands of soldier crabs will emerged from their burrow for feeding. They will have to feed before the tide return. Soldier crabs feed on detritus in the sand or mud. They will scoop up sand and mud with their front claws and sift through the sand for food, dropping unwanted sand and mud which form the ball shaped sands.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Butterfly Puddling

Saw thousands of butterfly along the trail when I was at Kaeng Krachan Nature Park of Thailand last month.

Is believed that male butterflies are more likely the one that do puddling. When butterfly sips water from the ground, they also take in traces of minerals that dissolved in the water.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Mammals at Kaeng Krachan Thailand

I was at Kaeng Krachan, Thailand last week supposedly a birding trip but was attracted to many of their non-bird vertebrates. Thanks to Marcus Chua for the id!!
Western striped squirrels (Tamiops mcclellandii)
Lesser mousedeer (Tragulus kanchil)
Grey-bellied squirrels (Callosciurus caniceps)
Indochinese ground squirrels (Menetes berdmorei)
Northen treeshrew (Tupaia belangeri)
This must be my lucky year... I even got to see this big cat - a leopard face to face!!

I certainly will go back again to explore another part of the park!