Sunday, November 9, 2014

Pak Thale/Leam Pak Bia early November 2014

Long-toed Stint
I have just spent Nov 8th and 9th birding the coast near Petchaburi with friends Fred and Marian Rowe, as usual the birding at Pak Thale and Leam Pak Bia was excellent with many thousands of waders and terns now present in the area for the winter. We visited the salt pans at Pak Thale a couple of times at high tide, soon finding two Spoon-billed Sandpiper, one feeding with a handful of Red-necked Stint and one roosting with stints on a dry salt pan. Large numbers of Eurasian Curlew were present in the area, but too distant and the light to poor to pick out any eastern birds, but a dozen Red-necked Phalarope were closer, with another found feeding with Marsh Sandpiper right by the roadside. 

Marsh Sandpiper
Wood Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper and Long-toed Stint
Huge numbers of waders were roosting on the last few salt pans before the sea, at Pak Thale including 24 Asiatic Dowitcher, 3 Red Knot and several hundred Great Knot, Black-tailed Godwit and Whimbrel. A coffee break overlooking nearby mud flats, added several Terek Sandpiper and at least 200 Broad-billed Sandpiper to the trip list.     

Spotted Redshank
An additional stop at salt pans nearer Leam Pak Bia, found a flock of 42 Nordmann's Greenshank, at least 24 Pied Avocet, 8 Ruff, many thousands of terns which included huge numbers of Common, Whiskered and Little and smaller numbers of Gull-billed, Caspian and White-winged Black.  A group of four Pintail among the terns looked out of place.  
Little Ringed Plover
We made several visits to the research project at Leam Pak Bia, including one till dusk, three Spot-billed Pelican were present on the pools and at dusk many Night Heron appeared from out of the mangroves, with thousands of Black Drongo and mynas heading into them to roost. Good numbers of White-shouldered Starling were recorded heading in with at least 500 logged by dusk, many of which paused in nearby trees giving good views and allowing us to pick out several Chestnut-tailed Starling and a surprise Purple-backed Starling

Night Heron
At a freshwater area slightly inland  24 Grey-headed Lapwing were present, along with a dozen Temminck's Stint, several Red-throated and Richard's Pipit and singing Oriental Skylark.

Other species recorded over the two days included many Black-capped Kingfisher, Sanderling, Curlew Sandpiper, Pacific Golden Plover, Bar-tailed Godwit, hundreds of Brown-headed Gull, Osprey, 2 Peregrine, Kestrel, Oriental Darter, 4 Ashy Minivet, Oriental Reed Warbler and Eastern Yellow Wagtail.

Saturday evening several thousand Fruit Bats were seen leaving the mangroves.

Many thanks to Fred and Marian Rowe for supplying photos.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Streaked Wren Babbler

Streaked Wren Babbler
by Fred Rowe
Have just spent a couple of days at Chiang Dao, where most birding was carried out around Wat Tham Pha Plong. Despite several hefty thundery downpours a decent selection of species was seen, including some which seem much easier to see at Chiang Dao than elsewhere in Thailand. Green-legged Partridge were heard calling form at least four different localities, 2 pairs of Blue-bearded Bee-eater showed well as did two Violet Cuckoo around the car park, two Pin-tailed Green Pigeon were noted among a flock of 20 Thick-billed Green Pigeon, a very obliging Streaked Wren Babbler showed well on the temple steps as did two Purple-naped Sunbird by the bridge over the dry stream, a regular hangout for this species.

Blue-bearded Bee-eater
Other species recorded included 2 Bay Woodpecker, Great and Blue-eared Barbet, Orange-breasted Trogon, 3 Drongo Cuckoo, two Banded Bay Cuckoo, 20 Brown-backed Needletail, 50 Crested Treeswift. Collared Owlet, 8 Mountain Imperial Pigeon, Emerald Ground Dove, 2 Grey-backed Shrike, 2 Green Magpie, Great Iora, 15 Large Woodshrike, Hill Blue Flycatcher, 30 Striated Swallow, 4 Claudia's Leaf Warbler, 2 Grey-crowned Warbler, three Buff-breasted Babbler, Brown-cheeked Fulvetta and Yellow-vented Flowerpecker.

Despite spending the heat of the day gazing up at the sky, the only raptors recorded were a single Crested Goshawk and Grey-faced Buzzard. Asian Barred Owlets were heard in the evenings, along with a Collared Scops Owl and on Monday evening a Spot-bellied Eagle Owl flew across the road at dusk.

Malaysian Pied Fantail

Over the weekend we spent a couple of days visiting family at Tung Kwian north of Lampang in northern Thailand, birding opportunities were limited but I did manage to sneak in a couple of early morning walks around scrub, paddies and secondary growth at Tung Kwian. A couple of surprises, the first a Malaysian Pied Fantail which seems a long way north of ranges shown in field guides and three Wire-tailed Swallow which are towards the southern limit of their range. 

Thick-billed Warbler
Thick-billed Warbler were especially common in the area with at least 8 seen each morning and others heard, both Siberian Rubythroat and Indochinese Bushlark were also relatively common with half a dozen on each day. Others species noted included a Rufous-winged Buzzard,  many Green Bee-eaters, Pied Bushchat, 50 Baya Weaver and several thousand Eurasian Swallow gathered on overhead electric cables. 

Blue Pansy
A decent selection of common butterflies were also noted including numerous Blue Pansy. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Huge numbers of Lesser Whistling Duck on the patch/over this patch this morning with a minimum of at least 2000 present, among them a Garganey was a good local patch bird and was only the third I have recorded here.
Little Grebe
A brood of newly hatch Little Grebe on one of the fish ponds was a bit of a surprise, along with three Cotton Pgymy Geese.  Lots of Kingfishers around this morning with 12 Common, 5 White-throated, 3 Black-capped and two Stork-billed

Common Kingfisher
Though the numbers of waders has fallen, still a decent selection around with 35 Wood Sandpiper, 15 Little Ringed Plover, 11 Marsh Sandpiper, 5 Grey-headed Lapwing, 4 Temminck's Stint, 3 Pintail Snipe and 2 Common Sandpiper. Other wetland birds included a Ruddy-breasted Crake,  8 Pheasant-tailed and 2 Bronze-winged Jacana, 8 Yellow Bittern and 4 Purple Heron

The usual selection of migrants/winter visitors present with 32 Oriental Reed Warbler, 16 Brown Shrike, 15 Eastern Stonechat, 14 Dusky Warbler, 10 Taiga Fycatcher, 7 Yellow-browed Warbler, 5 Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler, 2 Black-naped Oriole and a mouhoti type Ashy Drongo.  

Red-collared Dove
Common residents especially evident this morning included at least a 300 Red-collared Dove and good numbers of mynas.  

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


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.