Monday, January 28, 2019

Pak Meng Beach

It's a sad fact that travelling on an extremely tight budget forces you to forgo certain places. So it was as we arrived for the first time in southern peninsular Thailand after a very pleasant sleeper train south from Hua Hin. To our west lay a tempting array of beautiful tropical islands but we found that the ferry fares were at holiday-maker prices and would be impossible on the money we had allowed ourselves. So when we got to Trang we took a local bus to the west coast and stayed at Pak Meng Beach on the mainland.

This was my first time on the Andaman Coast and my first real taste of Sundaic fauna. Many potential lifers lay among the resident and wintering birds as we moved further south. More would have been possible by pushing into the mangroves and reserves to the north and south but this list was just from a couple of days spent in the accommodation garden, the beach area backed by extensive casuarina trees and the road running north just inland.

The swiftlets were particularly interesting here as they fed very low along the beach and detailed comparison between the species was possible.

Brahminy Kite Haliastur indus

Dollarbird Eurystomus orientalis

Forest Wagtail Dendronanthus indicus

Greater Sandplover Charadrius leschenaultii

Grey-capped Woodpecker Yungipicus canicapillus

Olive-backed Sunbird Cinnyris jugularis

Orange-bellied Flowerpecker Dicaeum trigonostigma

Pacific Swallow Hirundo tahitica

Feral Pigeon
Red Collared Dove
Spotted Dove
Zebra Dove
Greater Coucal
Green-billed Malkoha
Asian Koel
Great Eared-Nightjar
Seen overhead when nearly dark, calling. Call sounded very like Malaysian Nightjar but calls quite similar and assumed to be this species on range.
* Black-nest Swiftlet
Definitely present alongside Germain's. Good views as they hawked low over the beach. Dark rump and structural differences clear.
Germain's Swiftlet
* Grey-rumped Treeswift
Greater Sand Plover
Lesser/Greater Sand Plover
Whimbrel 4
Common Sandpiper 4
Pacific Reef-Heron 2
Crested Honey-buzzard 2
Brahminy Kite
Brown Boobook
Eurasian Hoopoe 1
White-throated Kingfisher 1
Indochinese Roller 3
* Dollarbird 1
Coppersmith Barbet
Lineated Barbet
* Grey-capped Woodpecker 1
Ashy Minivet
Common Iora
Ashy Drongo - many in casuarina trees along beach
Large-billed Crow
Common Tailorbird - only in the garden of the accommodation
Dark-necked Tailorbird
Barn Swallow
Pacific Swallow
* Rufous-bellied Swallow 2
Streak-eared Bulbul
* Asian Glossy Starling 1
Common Myna
Asian Brown Flycatcher 1
* Orange-bellied Flowerpecker 1 - in garden
Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker
Olive-backed Sunbird
Eurasian Tree Sparrow
* Forest Wagtail - In woodland along inland road running parallel to beach towards the pier.

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