Salt pan stopover

Seriously special sandpipers:

In March 2014, Flightpathproject visited the salt pans of Pak Thale in Thailand, to look for – and find! – the critically endangered Spoon-billed sandpiper: see https://flightpathproject.wordpress.com/2014/03/07/seriously-special-sandpipers/

Pak Thale is a vital staging ground on the sandpipers’ way to breed in Kamchatka, in the far east of Russia.

Image at wikipedia.com

Protection for the salt pans:

By the end of 2016, the Bird Conservation Society of Thailand is hoping to buy, manage and  conserve the threatened salt pans for spoonies – and for the hundreds of thousands of other shorebirds – that use Pak Thale annually.

For more about the project see http://www.bcst.or.th/?page_id=4755&lang=en

 

index

Home away from home:

After a long flightpath – from Russia via London Heathrow to Gloucestershire, England – watch Spoon-billed sandpiper chicks hatch at Slimbridge Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust http://www.wwt.org.uk

 

Extreme migrants

‘World Shorebirds Day is a celebration. Shorebirds, those extreme migrants – as well as the people who do the most for them – are celebrated each year on September 6…’

More information and images at http://worldshorebirdsday.wordpress.com/

Spoon-billed sandpiper is shorebird of the year:

 

Spoon-billed Sandpiper is the 'Shorebird of the Year'. This beautiful artwork was made by Szabolcs Kókay, an award winning wildlife artist. © Szabolcs Kókay

 

Sketch in support of shorebirds:

 

Spoon-billed Sandpiper skitches from China by Szabolcs Kókay. © Szabolcs Kókay

 

https://worldshorebirdsday.wordpress.com/2014/06/26/sketching-artists/

‘Wild and impermanent/as the sea-foam blown…’

from Dotterel in Birds: Poems by Judith Wright, published by the National Library of Australia, 2003

The thing with feathers

dead spoonie

image www.wwt.org.uk

 The Death of the Bird

For every bird there is this last migration:
Once more the cooling year kindles her heart;
With a warm passage to the summer station
Love pricks the course in lights across the chart.

Year after year a speck on the map, divided
By a whole hemisphere, summons her to come;
Season after season, sure and safely guided,
Going away she is also coming home.

And being home, memory becomes a passion
With which she feeds her brood and straws her nest,
Aware of ghosts that haunt the heart’s possession
And exiled love mourning within the breast.

The sands are green with a mirage of valleys;
The palm-tree casts a shadow not its own;
Down the long architrave of temple or palace
Blows a cool air from moorland scarps of stone.

And day by day the whisper of love grows stronger;
That delicate voice, more urgent with despair,
Custom and fear constraining her no longer,
Drives her at last on the waste leagues of air.

A vanishing speck in those inane dominions,
Single and frail, uncertain of her place,
Alone in the bright host of her companions,
Lost in the blue unfriendliness of space.

She feels it close now, the appointed season:
The invisible thread is broken as she flies;
Suddenly, without warning, without reason,
The guiding spark of instinct winks and dies.

Try as she will, the trackless world delivers
No way, the wilderness of light no sign,
The immense and complex map of hills and rivers
Mocks her small wisdom with its vast design.

And darkness rises from the eastern valleys,
And the winds buffet her with their hungry breath,
And the great earth, with neither grief nor malice,
Receives the tiny burden of her death.

 by AD Hope

Listen to AD Hope read the poem at http://www.lyrikline.org/en/poems/death-bird-1251#.Ux_D986Qykw

Hope:

baby spoonie 1

image at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2174111/Are-mum-An-endangered-spoon-billed-sandpiper-chick-explores-new-home-fraught-trip-Russia-join-UK-conservation-project.html

“Hope” is the thing with feathers:

“Hope” is the thing with feathers—

That perches in the soul—

And sings the tune without the words—

And never stops—at all—

from “Hope” is the thing with feathers by Emily Dickinson

Seriously special sandpipers

Flightpathproject is in Thailand 6 March to 26 April 2014

Spoon-billed Sandpiper

‘The spoon-billed sandpiper Eurynorhynchus pygmeus is one of the most threatened birds on the planet. It breeds on the Chukotsk and Kamchatka peninsulas in the Russian Far East, migrates through Russia, Japan, North Korea, South Korea and China to winter in Bangladesh, Myanmar and Thailand, 8,000km from its breeding grounds.’

More info at www.saving-spoon-billed-sandpiper.com/

 spoonbilledsandpiper jorg hanoldt web

Photo by Jorg Hanoldt at http://www.thaibirding.com

Spoonies at Pak Thale, Thailand

Video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d72igbse4v4

Right place, right time

From an email to Flightpathproject from birders Abhijit and Hassath (who made their own migration of about 3000km from Delhi to Pak Thale to look for spoonies):

‘…We didn’t have a spotting scope then, and Hassath sat calmly on a big mound while I wandered around in the sweltering heat examining each salt pan peering at various plovers and other small birds. Then I decided we should get going back to Bangkok and called out to her. She ambled over, and said “Hey, isn’t that a spoon-billed sandpiper?” It was…’

For detailed birding advice and mud maps for Pak Thale see http://www.thaibirding.com/locations/central/lpb.htm

For spoonies in the news in Thailand, see http://www.bangkokpost.com/print/295360/

Salt pans at Pak Thale

Salt pans at Pak Thale

Photo at http://www.shorebirder-waderworld.blogspot.com

pak thale shorebird sign nathan hentze web

Photo by Nathan Hentz