I drove up to Chiang Saen on the afternoon of March 4 along with Dr. Chaiyan Kasorndokbua who went to conduct a research on harriers. We arrived at the Chiang Saen Lake late in the evening and didn’t have much time to do a lot of birding. At least, I managed to lure out a Pallas’s Grasshopper Warbler and a pair of Black-browed Reed Warbler, exactly at the same area where I found them last year.
We stayed at the lake and on the next morning we were greeted with lots of birds around the lake. Grey-headed Swamphen, Common Moorhen, White-breasted Waterhen, Little Grebe and Lesser Whistling Ducks were very common. A young Racket-tailed Treepie even showed up right in front of our house.
We quickly moved to Nam Kham Nature Reserve to look for the scarce Brown-cheeked Rails, a former subspecies of the Eurasian species Water Rail, which were reported about a week earlier. I found the bird as soon as I entered one of the hides on the edge of the big pond. The bird was feeding alongside a Ruddy-breasted Crake, but it was extremely difficult to photograph since they were feeding in a dense area.
I later decided to walk around in the reed bed hoping to find some little brown jobs. I came across quite many Baikal Bush Warblers but could only grab a record shot of one bird. A Black-browed Reed Warbler and a worn Greenish Warbler were also found.
I later met a small group of foreign birders who told me that a pair of Brown-cheeked Rails were showing very well at a different hide on the other side of the pond. I spotted a bird feeding on the edge of the pond as soon as I arrived at the hide. It was busy feeding on various types of food including fish, snails and some aquatic insects that I have no idea what they are.
Here’s a compilation of video clips that I took. Later in the video shows 2 birds chasing each other.