Wanakorn Beach

I’ve temporarily moved to Bangkok since the beginning of May and got a chance to visit Wanakorn Beach, one of the most popular birding sites, in Prachuap Khiri Khan on May 17. The beach is well known for the Spotted Owlets which indeed were extremely easy to find and also numerous. I arrived at the beach around noon and stayed until sunset. Despite only few species seen, most of them gave great opportunities for photography.

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This bird was completely fearless. The nest was just right above the main road towards the beach. If you look closely, you’ll see one of the chicks peeking from the nest hole.

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I’ve never been to a place where Spotted Owlets are this numerous. I counted 6 individuals staying together in one area and another pair and at least 1 chick just across the yard. After it got completely dark, their screeching calls could be heard frequently. I wonder what’s the reason behind the abundance of this species particularly here at the beach.

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Another bird that caught my attention was the also abundant and extremely colourful Blue-throated Bee-eater. The open lawn close to the beach turned out to be a nesting ground for at least 14 pairs of this colourful bird. Despite having no photography hide, a small shelter in the middle of the lawn served as a wonderful place for me to hide and take photos of the birds at extremely close range.

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The birds occasionally perch on the ground together in large number or on the small sticks which were set up by other photographers before me. They’d perch for some minutes then dash out altogether and circle in the air above the nesting ground. The nest is a hole dug deep into the ground similar to other species of bee-eaters such as Green Bee-eater, which I’m familiar with in northern Thailand.

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Other birds seen at the beach included many furious Red-wattled Lapwings which came stooping all around me whenever I trespassed their nesting territories, some obliging Indian Rollers, a nesting Common Hoopoe and several Lineated Barbets.

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