Saturday, October 25, 2014

Grey-headed Lapwing and lots of rain

This mornings walk cut short due to torrential rain, did manage to see a flock of 26 Grey-headed Lapwing fly over, a couple of Taiga Flycatcher and a Black-naped Oriole before heading back.

Asian Brown Flycatcher and a Two-barred Warbler in scrub by the house later.  

Peaceful Dove on nest on our electric meter in front of the house

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Minivets

Ashy Minivet again featured strongly around the patch this morning, three or four mobile flocks totaling around 70 birds present, with others heard but not seen. Two Kestrels were new and there was noticeable increase in wintering warblers with 25 Oriental Reed, 14 Dusky , 10 Black-browed Reed, 8 Yellow-browed, 4 Pallas's Grasshopper, 3 Lanceolated, 2 Two-barred and a Thick-billed Warbler.

Other winter visitors/passage migrants included  9 Common and 3 Black-capped Kingfisher, 14 Whiskered Tern, 11 Brown Shrike, 3 Black-naped Oriole, 2 Asian Brown Flycatcher, 5 Taiga Flycatcher, 9 Eastern Stonechat,11 Red-rumped Swallow, 3 Richard's Pipit and 10 Eastern Yellow Wagtail.

Little Ringed Plover
Loads of waders again with 95 Wood Sandpiper, 24 Grey-headed Lapwing, 20 Little Ringed Plover, 13 Pintail Snipe, 9 Common Snipe, 7 Common Sandpiper, 4 Marsh Sandpiper, 3 Greenshank, 2 Pacific Golden Plover and a fly over Spotted Redshank.    

Two Black Bitterns may be the last until the spring, whilst numbers of Oriental Pratincole also probably falling with just four recorded during the morning. Other species present included a Freckled-breasted Woodpecker, 2 Ruddy-breasted Crake, 3 Bhraminy Kite, Brown-throated Sunbird and a Red Avadavat.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Cuckooshrike, Starlings and first Rubythroat

A walk around the drier parts of the patch this morning, again produced a few new migrants which included a Black-winged Cuckooshrike, three White-shouldered Starling and the first Siberian Rubythroat of the winter. Other migrant/wintering passerines included 11 Brown Shrike, 9 Oriental Reed Warbler, 7 Eastern Stonechat, 5 Dusky Warbler, 4 Taiga Flycatcher, 4 Richard's Pipit, 3 Black-browed Reed Warbler and single Black-naped Oriole and Asian Brown Flycatcher,  

Waders were fewer in this drier area, but did include a fly over flock of 19 Grey-headed Lapwing, 6 Painted Snipe and 3 Pintail Snipe. Also recorded during the morning were the usual two Freckled-breasted Woodpecker, c75 Blue-tailed Bee-eater, 2 Bhraminy Kite, 4 Yellow-vented Bulbul and a flock of at least 30 Plain-backed Sparrow

Just as I was heading home a very high flock of raptors slowly headed south and consisted of 14 Black Baza, 11 Grey-faced Buzzard, 3 Oriental Honey Buzzard and two unidentified accipters.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Pelican's and Storks


Spot-billed Pelican
Have just spent a couple of nights on the coast at Leam Pak Bia/Pak Thale, as always lots of birds. Highlights included 17 Spot-billed Pelican and up to 53 Painted Stork at the research project at LPB and a further 11 at Pak Thale. 


Painted Stork
Though waders numbers were not at levels seen later in the winter there were still plenty around, especially at Pak Thale, where peak counts over a couple of visits included 650 Curlew, 250 Great Knot, 50 Black-tailed Godwit, 40 Broad-billed Sandpiper, 19 Terek Sandpiper, 4 Red Knot, 4 Ruddy Turnstone, 4 Red-necked Phalarope, 3 Grey-headed Lapwing, a single Far Eastern Curlew and a good selection of other common waders. 
  
Pacific Golden Plover
Waders at Leam Pak Bia and the research project, included 850 Great Knot, 225 Black-tailed Godwit, 100 Red-necked Stint, 30 Pacific Golden Plover, 25 Long-toed Stint, 13 Asiatic Dowitcher, 11 Pied Avocet, 4 Ruff and 4 Temminck's Stint.    
Red-necked Stint
 A walk through the mangroves in the research project produced a few migrants in addition to the numerous Golden-bellied Gerygone and a Mangrove Whistler, with at least two Pale-legged/Sakhalin Leaf Warbler, 2 Arctic Warbler, a Black-winged Cuckooshrike and 11 Ashy Minivet. At least 23 White-winged Black Tern fed over the ponds along with mnay Whiskered Terns. At the rubbish dump/abandoned building lots of the standard starlings/mynas as well as 13 Chestnut-tailed and 24 White-shouldered Starling. Also in the area were two Barred Buttonquail, Wryneck, 2 Hoopoe, 4 Indochinese Bushlark and 8 Richard's Pipit
  
Ruff
Other species noted along the coast included Lesser CoucalSlaty-breasted Rail, Black Bittern, Bhraminy Kite, Osprey, 2 Peregrine, Common, Caspian, Little and Gull-billed Tern, Painted Snipe, a dozen Black-caped Kingfisher, numerous Brown Shrike and hundreds of Pale-rumped Swiftlet

Green Bee-eater

We stayed a little inland from Had Chao Samaran beach at the very comfortable and friendly Ban Bang Home Resort (www.banbanghomeresort.com/index.php/hom), just five minutes drive from Laem Pak Bia, Green Bee-eaters were very common in the garden along with several stunning Green Jewel Beetles. 



Green Jewel Beetle

Monday, October 13, 2014

Ashy Minivet and Drongo's

Quite a few new migrants on the patch, Ashy Minivet were especially evident with at least three flocks totaling 87 birds noted, two of which seemed to depart south. Other new migrants included three Ashy Drongo  two of which were striking white-faced leucogenis birds and the other probably a standard mouhouti bird, two Spangled Drongo and a good influx of Taiga Flycatcher with at least ten scattered around the site, six Red-throated Pipit and a huge female Peregrine.

There was also an increase in the number and variety of warblers, with 25 Oriental Reed, 9 Dusky, 7 Black-browed Reed, 5 Yellow-browed, 3 Two-barred, 3 Pallas's Grasshopper, and single Lanceolated and Thick-billed Warbler.  Other migrants included 6 Common and two Black-capped Kingfisher, 13 Whiskered Tern, 17 Brown Shrike, 3 Black-naped Oriole, 4 Asian Brown Flycatcher, 9 Eastern Stonechat, 8 Red-rumped Swallow, 2 Richard's Pipit and 8 Yellow Wagtail.

Again good numbers of waders, including an apparent influx of snipe, with 24 Pintail and 12 Common along with 8 Painted. Totals for other waders 265 Black-winged Stilt, 120 Wood Sandpiper, 80 Oriental Pratincole, 23 Grey-headed Lapwing, 19 Little-ringed Plover, 5 Temminck's Stint, 4 Common Sandpiper and 2 Common Greenshank,

Also noted this morning were single Stork-billed Kingfisher, 2 Watercock, Eastern Marsh Harrier, 14 Yellow, 2 Cinnamon and one Black Bittern, 4 Yellow-vented Bulbul and 20 Asian Golden Weaver.  

Friday, October 10, 2014

Yellow-browed Warblers arrive

Following two days of rain, I finally managed a good walk around the patch this morning, as soon as I stepped out of the house it was clear that a few Yellow-browed Warbler had arrived, with two calling from scrub by the house and another four noted on the mornings walk, until today I had not so far recorded any locally this autumn.
Black-naped Oriole
Other new migrants/winter visitors since previous visits included 3 Black-naped Oriole and four Taiga Flycatcher. Numbers of other warblers are still low with 20 Oriental Reed Warbler, 4 Black-browed Reed Warbler and two Dusky Warbler, presumably many have yet to arrive. Other migrants/winter visitors included 5 Common Kingfisher, 11 Whiskered Tern, 27 Brown Shrike, 3 Asian Brown Flycatcher, 9 Eastern Stonechat, 2 Richard's Pipit and 4 Yellow Wagtail.

In addition to the usual Red-wattled Lapwing and Black-winged Stilts, there were many more waders than previous, including at least 500 Oriental Pratincole, 145 Wood Sandpiper, 17 Grey-headed Lapwing, 11 Little-ringed Plover, 3 Temminck's Stint and 2 Common Sandpiper. At least 29 Yellow Bittern were noted, more than normal and perhaps suggesting some passage through the site, along with single Black and Cinnamon Bittern, 12 Grey Heron, 5 Purple Heron and at least 55 Night Heron.
Cotton Pygmy Goose
A single Cotton Pygmy Goose was noted among many Lesser Whistling Ducks and additional wetland birds included 2 Watercock, 3 Pheasant-tailed and two Bronze-winged Jacana, 5 Moorhen and 21 Little Grebe.

Additional species recorded included 2 Freckled-breasted Woodpecker, 40 Blue-tailed Bee-eater, 4 Yellow-vented Bulbul and many weavers including 50 Asian Golden and 8 Streaked.


To get to the patch I first have to negotiate a 16 lane motorway and then get past a gang of a dozen noisy but mostly friendly dogs which guard the access onto the paddies.    

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Cuckoos, Ducks and a free lunch

Have just spent a couple of days at Beung Bhoraphet, Nakhon Sawan, an afternoon was spent birding around the waterbird park, followed by a three hour boat trip out onto the lake with Lung Phanom the following morning. It has been a poor wet season so far and water levels on the lake are very low and a boat is needed to get to any areas of open water. Construction work being carried out at the waterbird park during the early part of the year seems to been largely completed, apart from a new visitor center/restaurant being built opposite the parking lot. Vegetation around the waterbird park/nature trail seems to have largely grown back following dredging.

Chestnut-winged Cuckoo
As usual there was plenty of birds at the waterbird park, include a scattering of migrants which included at least three Chestnut-winged Cuckoo, I spent sometime trying to get a decent photo, eventually getting one that was slightly better than previous ones but still fairly rubbish! Other migrants included 4 Common, 2 Black-capped and a Stork-billed Kingfisher, 30 Chestnut-headed Bee-eater, 4 White Wagtail, 2 Forest Wagtail, 3 Black-naped Oriole, 5 Dusky Warbler, a Two-barred Warbler, 4 Black-browed Reed Warbler, 10 Eastern Stonechat, 3 Asian Brown Flycatcher, 4 Taiga Flycatcher, 8 Brown Shrike, 27 White Shouldered and 15 Chestnut-tailed Starling.  

Pink-necked Green Pigeon
Other species present around the waterbird park included 7 Yellow, 2 Cinnamon  and 2 Black Bittern, several Ruddy-breasted Crake, 5 Watercock, 16 Pink-necked Green Pigeon, Spotted Owlet, many Blue-tailed Bee-eater, Linneated Barbet, 2 Freckled-breasted Woodpecker,  several Yellow-vented Bulbul, Striated Grassbird, 3 Chestnut Munia and 2 Red Avadavat

The boat trip out onto to the lake, produced many thousands of Lesser Whistling Ducks, along with 2500 Garganey, 3 Eurasian Teal, a Pintail and a good scattering of Cotton Pygmy Geese. A couple  White-browed Crakes were seen briefly, with  the boat flushing many Pheasant-tailed Jacana including many still in breeding plumage, along with good numbers of Watercock, Purple Gallinule, Bronze-winged Jacana, Yellow and Cinnamon Bittern. Small number of Whiskered Tern fed over the lake along with thousands of Swallow, Sand Martin and a few Red-rumped Swallow. Up to four Eastern Marsh Harrier were constantly patrolling the lake along with three Black Kite and at least 150 Oriental Pratincole were high overhead. 

Oriental Darter, Indian and Little Cormorant

Great, Intermediate and Little Egret
Purple and Grey Herons were scattered all across the lake and on an island in the middle, several hundred Night Heron were present along with good numbers of Oriental Darter, Indian and Little Cormorant and various Egrets. The only waders noted were around 100 Black-winged Stilt and small numbers of Red-wattled Lapwing. A further dozen Common Kingfisher were noted, as well as two Pied and several more Black-caped.

Pied Paddy Skimmer
Good numbers of drgaonflies were present around the margins including many Pied Paddy Skimmer Neurothemis tullia. .

Water Lillies

Gathering lunch
 Highlight for the none birders was the many water lillies and lotus in flower and the collecting of water lilly stems for lunch!