July 2010

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

coppersmith barbet

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

Feral pigeon

Spotted dove - PSU

spotted dove

Peaceful dove - PSU, Songkhla beach

peaceful dove

peaceful dove

Pink-necked green pigeon - 2 pond near PSU

White-breasted waterhen - several at the pond near PSU

white-breasted waterhen

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

common mynah

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.

Thai butterfly

The annual big catch of mother and infant greater horseshoe bats at Woodchester on 18th.

greater horseshoe bat

greater horseshoe bat

greater horseshoe bat

Garden moths 13-16 July. Left to right - rosy footman, dagger sp. and coronet.

rosy footmandagger sp.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.

white-tailed lapwingwhite-tailed lapwing

More confiding were a family of reed warblers, and two summer-plumaged black-tailed godwits at South Lake.

reed warbler

reed warbler

black-tailed godwit

black-tailed godwit

black-tailed godwit

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.

gull-billed terngull-billed tern

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.

muslin footmanyellow-tail

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