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Spoon-billed sandpiper guide: how to identify, where they are found, and why they are Critically Endangered


Soukous
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Spoon-billed sandpipers are unique birds with bills in the shape of spoons. They are a Critically Endangered species, facing a number of threats in their breeding and overwintering areas, as well as along their migration routes.

 

https://www.discoverwildlife.com/animal-facts/birds/facts-about-spoon-billed-sandpipers/

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I just missed seeing one in Pak Thale in Southern Thailand. The guide spotted one among other plovers but when I put my eye to the scope it had moved and we lost it thereafter. 

Really hope to return to that area to spot the incredible spoonie. 

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@KitsafariI hope you do go back to Pak Thale and have better luck, I saw Spoonies at Pak Thale 10 years ago, when I birded in Thailand, I didn't get any decent photos, just two shots of groups of waders, I think most but not all of the birds in this crop are Spoonies, but it's really not a very good shot, they were just too far away and I would have needed a much longer lens. 

 

IMG_7464.jpg.894e0dcfeec07b2dc4ecefa0128efb50.jpg 

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what an awesome sighting @inyathi! i would have been delirious with seeing just one . I'll definitely go back for the spoonies with my husband - the salt pans are a huge magnet for waders and shoresbirds. when I was there in 2018, I also saw nordmann's greenshank and asian dowitcher which are both on IUCN redlist. 

 

I'm not sure if you have read, the Rainforest Trust and the Bird Conservation Society of Thailand managed to raise funds to buy 8ha of the Pak Thale pans and are managing those areas.

https://news.mongabay.com/2020/02/sandpipers-on-an-arduous-migration-now-have-a-rest-stop-all-their-own/

 

they've also built a huge hide lower into the ground so you will be nearly eye-level with the birds in the pans. This is bliss for the birders - I remember there was no escape from the blazing hot sun! and hopefully there's also a proper bathroom now.  So time hopefully for you to return too one day. :) 

 

a sample of the birds at pak thale when i was there in October 2018

 

2060783241_DSC08685-asiandowitcherlargerofthe2.JPG.bcb18d4e6d3bcaf2b95a79e21912f062.JPG

 

46997172_DSC08981-4ID-curlewsandpiper.JPG.27825f67bbe979f2b8ec2184aeda2bdd.JPG

 

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@KitsafariThanks, I wasn't aware of the good news about Pak Thale, I don't remember as much about Pak Thale as other places I went to, but I'm sure the hide will make a big difference for birders and make it much more comfortable and good to know that these critically endangered birds will now be better protected in Thailand.  

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