Between 24-31 July I was in Thailand. For the past 2 years I've had a grant from the British Council to lead a study modelling the distribution of rare bat species there. At the end of the project we held a workshop about GIS methods, presence-only modelling and echolocation call analysis at Prince of Songkla University (PSU) in Hat Yai, southern Thailand. The most stressful bit of the whole trip was getting to Heathrow - I gave myself 5 hours 30 mins before departure for the coach trip, but the coach was delayed coming from Swansea, got held up outside of Bristol, and then met a multi-car pile up east of Reading. The coach driver tried to take a diversion into Wokingham, got stuck in a one-way street, and ended up taking the M3 and M25 into Heathrow, arriving first at Terminal 5 and I had to leave from Terminal 3! I managed to get to the check-in desk 1h before departure, and Thai Airways allowed me onboard as probably the last passenger, bless them. Next time it's the train and Heathrow Express. After 5 days in Hat Yai I had a day recovering in Bangkok, only adding large-billed crow to a pretty pathetic list of birds. After being virtually the only farang in Hat Yai, Bangkok was a bit of a culture shock, and I counted a sex ratio of 72:7 male:female farangs in a random sample, many of the ageing males with young Thai women attached to them.
Lesser whistling-duck - 2 Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok
Little Grebe - Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok
Coppersmith barbet - Hat Yai
Blue-tailed bee-eater - 2 at a pond near PSU
House swift - common
Asian palm swift - Songkhla beach
Large-tailed nightjar - 3 flying with about 20 house bats Scotophilus sp., PSU
Spotted dove - PSU
Peaceful dove - PSU, Songkhla beach
Pink-necked green pigeon - 2 pond near PSU
White-breasted waterhen - several at the pond near PSU
Common moorhen - several at the pond near PSU
Black-winged stilt - Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok
Red-wattled lapwing - 2, Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok
Little cormorant - 1, Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok
Little egret - Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok, PSU
Asian openbill - Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok
Oriental magpie robin - PSU
Common mynah - common
Jungle mynah - Songkhla beach and PSU.
Barn swallow - PSU
Pacific swallow - Songkhla beach
Yellow-vented bulbul - common
Common tailorbird - feeding young PSU
Oriental white-eye - Songkhla beach
Olive-backed sunbird - 2, PSU
Tree sparrow - everywhere
White-headed munia - juvenile, PSU
Bats on campus included Rhinolophus acuminatus, Taphozous longimanus, Scotophilus sp. and a trawling Myotis species foraging over the lake.
Butterfly laying eggs, PSU.
The annual big catch of mother and infant greater horseshoe bats at Woodchester on 18th.
Garden moths 13-16 July. Left to right - rosy footman, dagger sp. and coronet.
I had the day more-or-less to myself on 10th, so had a great day's birding, starting with the WHITE-TAILED LAPWING at Slimbridge. It was a bit distant from the Zeiss Hide, but an excellent bird to see nonetheless. It looks quite different from the pictures in the field guides, with a whiter face.
More confiding were a family of reed warblers, and two summer-plumaged black-tailed godwits at South Lake.
There was also a ruff at South Lake, and a greenshank from Zeiss Hide.
Then I drove to Bowling Green Marsh, Topsham to see the GULL-BILLED TERN that has been present for 12 days or so.
Also present were 2 moulting spotted redshank, several whimbrel and an adult and second-summer Mediterranean gulls.
Moths in the garden trap on 4-5th included muslin footman and a male yellow-tail.