Seeking the Spoon-billed Sandpiper in Myanmar
In late January I was lucky enough to join the tail end of an international expedition* organized under the auspices of BirdLife International to survey birds in the coastal estuaries of Myanmar. We spent two days on a small offshore island in the northern end of the Gulf of Martaban, just off the communities of Bilin and Kyaikto. I found the site is extraordinary. Both mornings we arrived when the salt marsh and mud flat island was still under the high tides; as the tide dropped large numbers of shorebirds would fly in, including Greater and Lesser Sand Plovers, Pacific Golden and Kentish Plovers, Curlew Sandpipers, Marsh Sandpipers, Greenshanks, Redshanks, Rufous-necked Stints, and many other species. We spotted at least 71 Spoon-billed Sandpipers among more than 35,000 shorebirds.