Spoon-billed Sandpiper at Can Gio

Can Gio is an area of mangrove forest and partially reclaimed land with a small but bustling beachside town on the south shore of the Saigon River. As in many other parts of coastal Vietnam salt pans are gradually disappearing to make way for not so bird-friendly shrimp ponds. Can Gio is just over an hour and a half by road and ferry from downtown Saigon and makes for a rather nice day trip during the autumn and spring migration when just about anything can turn up.

It was on one these regular day trips to Can Gio on 1st November 2011 that Jonathan Eames and Richard Craik found a Spoon-billed Sandpiper feeding in shallow pools in salt pans with Red-necked Stints. This is the first time we have recorded this critically endangered bird at this site and we assume it must be en route to a wintering site in the Mekong Delta. These record photographs were taken at some distance by Jonathan but they clearly show a single Spoon-billed Sandpiper with three Red-necked Stints. A return trip to see if the bird is still about is planned for 10th November.

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