Saturday, 5 December 2015

3rd December 2015 Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary

We checked the two small forest pools at dawn but again there was no sign of any Duck. A few Hill Mynas were seen flycatching from some dead snags. We checked most of the larger lakes near the HQ with some Great Slaty Woodpeckers proving surprisingly musical in flight. Back near the HQ we enjoyed photographing a displaying pair of Green Peafowl until the superintendant asked us if we saw any Duck but on telling him that we hadn't he then told us that a friend of his had seen a White-winged Duck at another pool a month ago and offered to take us there. It seemed a long shot but we were soon driving down another track and then walking a leech-infested trail into the forest to a small dam where with much excitement the superintendant quickly picked out a White-winged Duck. Unfortunately the White-winged Duck was soon seen to be bearing a metal ring so likely to originate from a reintroduction project aimed at adding numbers to the wild population in the area thought to number around 20 a few years ago. The superintendant sensed our disappointment at seeing the ring, and as he was only wearing sandals and attracting the unwelcome attention of plenty of leeches, he made his excuses and left us to digiscope the Duck. The leeches were proving more than a nuisance and when it started to rain heavily that seemed a good enough reason to make our retreat. We then drove the entrance road as far as the Km9 clearing but spent much of the morning sheltering from rain although seeing a Radde's and Dusky Warbler, Asian Brown and Taiga Flycatcher and 8 Olive-backed Pipits in the clearing I was soon reminding myself this would be quite a day on Unst! We then took a drive to the entrance barrier running over an innocuous piece of wood that somehow got caught under the car for a few meters causing the speedo and milometer to stop working, the satnav to display constant error messages and two orange warning lights to remain lit for the rest of our trip! We walked various stretches of the road for the rest of the day ending up at the tower overlooking the grassland at dusk where we saw an impressively large flock of Blue-tailed Bee-eaters at their pre-roost gathering numbering c.1,000 birds. After dark we eat more of our provisions in the car.

Red Junglefowl 3
Chinese Pond Heron 10
Little Egret 2
Rufous-winged Buzzard 1
Spotted Dove 10
Mountain Imperial Pigeon 50
Green-billed Malkoha 1
Indian Roller 2
White-throated Kingfisher 1
Common Kingfisher 2
Blue-tailed Bee-eater c.1,000
Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker 1
Great Slaty Woodpecker 3
Common Kestrel 1
Ashy Woodswallow 30
Scarlet Minivet 4
White-bellied Erpornis 2
Bronzed Drongo 6
Red-billed Blue Magpie 4
Large-billed Crow 2
Grey-headed Canary-Flycatcher 4
Black-crested Bulbul 1
Stripe-throated Bulbul 1
Dusky Warbler 1
Radde's Warbler 1
Pin-striped Tit-Babbler 2
Buff-breasted Babbler 2
White-crested Laughingthrush 6
Common Hill Myna 3
Chestnut-tailed Starling 10
White-rumped Shama 4
Asian Brown Flycatcher 1
Taiga Flycatcher 1
Stejneger's Stonechat 1
Grey Wagtail 1
Olive-backed Pipit 8

Common Hill Myna at Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary
 Red-billed Blue Magpie at Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary
Scarlet Minivet at Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary

Pair of Green Peafowl at Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary
Hog Deer at Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary
 One of the HQ lakes at Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary
Released White-winged Duck at Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary
The Km9 clearing at Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary
Common Fivering at Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary
Striped Blue Crow at Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary
Double-branded Blue Crow at Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary
Metallic Cerulean at Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary
Straight Snow Flat at Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary
Pre-roost gathering of Blue-tailed Bee-eaters at Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary