Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Ruddy-breasted Crake

Ruddy-breasted Crake is a fairly common resident/winter visitor to the patch, I usually see one or two and hear a few more on most visits. This morning armed with a recording of a calling Ruddy-breasted Crake, I decided to carry out a survey of the patch to see how many birds were present. I played the call every 50-100 meters in the vicinity of as much suitable habtitat as I could get to, using a similar method to that which I have used successfully in the UK for winter surveys of Water Rails. By the end of the morning I had recorded a minimum of 23, but did not see one!

The Glossy Ibis were still present, but had increased to 19, otherwise there was little change from a couple of days ago. Wader totals included 120 Wood Sandpiper, 37 Black-winged Stilt, 17 Little Ringed Plover, 11 Greenshank, 3 Marsh Sandpiper, 2 Common Sandpiper, 2 Temminck's Stint, single Spotted Redshank and Pacfic Golden Plover.

Yellow-bellied Prinia
Also recorded this morning 2 Speckled-breasted Woodpecker, Stork-billed Kingfisher, Eastern Marsh Harrier, 5 Yellow Bittern, 5 Siberian Rubythroat, 2 Yellow-vented Bulbul, 3 Yellow-bellied Prinia, 2 Brown-throated Sunbird, 70 Baya and 25 Golden Weaver.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Swiftlets, Buttonquails and Ibis

Lots of birds on the patch this morning, with some surprises 3 Indochinese Swiftlets and a pair of Barred Buttonquail were both new for the site list, best birds though was a flock of 13 Glossy Ibis only the third site record the two previous records both being flyovers.
Glossy Ibis
A great selection of waders this morning with 180 Wood Sandpiper, 40 Red-wattled Lapwing, 33 Black-winged Stilt, 17 Little Ringed Plover, 11 Greenshank, 8 Pintail Snipe, 5 Common Sandpiper, 3 Pacific Golden Plover, 2 Common Snipe and single Temminck's Stint, Spotted Redshank and Green Sandpiper. Other waterbirds included 1200 Lesser Whistling Duck, 35 Little Grebe, 3 Ruddy-breasted Crake, 7 Pheasant-tailed and 2 Bronze-winged Jacana, 21 Whiskered Tern, single Grey, Purple and Night Heron, 4 Little Heron, 5 Yellow Bittern and 18 Common Kingfisher.

Siberian Rubythroat
Lots of winter visitors with 8 Brown Shrike, 4 Taiga Flycatcher, 6 Siberian Rubythroat (including 2 singing males), 16 Eastern Stonechat, 10 Sand Martin, 5 Red-rumped Swallow, 20 Black-browed and 25 Oriental Reed Warbler, 3 Pallas's Grasshopper, 30 Dusky and 5 Yellow-browed Warbler, 10 Red-throated and 3 Richard's Pipit.

Male Plaintive Cuckoo
Female Plaintive Cuckoo

Resident species included 15 Blue-tailed Bee-eater, 6 Plaintive Cuckoo, 2 Vinous-breasted Starling, 4 Yellow-vented Bulbul, 150 Zitting Cisticola, 80 Plain Prinia, 2 Yellow-bellied Prinia, 2 Brown-throated Sunbird, 4 Plain-backed Sparrow, 60 Baya and 30 Golden Weaver.

Sunday, January 26, 2014


Friday we had to go to Lopburi, and as usual wherever we go the bins go as well, just past An Tong in Maha Rat District an extensive area of flooded paddies held a huge number of birds. I spent around half an hour trying to count the number of birds present and eventually got some impressive totals of waders with 3700 Black-winged Stilt, 1800 Marsh Sandpiper, 320 Wood Sandpiper, 75 Little Ringed Plover, 39 Grey-headed Lapwing, 22 Pacific Golden Plover, 18 Greenshank, 13 Temminck's Stint, 6 Common Sandpiper, 4 Spotted Redshank, Green Sandpiper and the odd unidentified snipe. Other waders could be seen well into the distance and remained uncounted and unidentified, the true numbers of waders in the area was probably considerably more than the above counts.

Black-winged Stilts
by Fred Rowe
Amongst the huge numbers of egrets and at least 2000 Open-billed Storks where four Painted Stork and two Black-headed Ibis. Also present were at least three Eastern Marsh Harrier, 2 Black-eared Kite, 20 Blue-tailed Bee-eater and amongst the many hundreds of hirundines 50 Red-rumped Swallows.

At Lopburi we visited a couple of temples situated in the limestone mountains, both temples we visited looked ideal for Limestone Wren Babblers despite a good look around i could not find any, but both sites will be well worth another look. At both temples good numbers of Chetsnut-headed Bee-eaters were present which was a little surprising along with two Blue Rock Thrush, Black-winged Cuckoo Shrike, 2 Black-naped Monarch and a Collared Owlet.    

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Birding - at last

Due to various reasons and becoming a little lazy, i have not done any birding for over two weeks, the longest non birding spell for 25 years! having completed various tasks including the wifes UK visa application, collecting newly repaired car and motorbike, this morning I went out birding around the local patch at Suphanburi, it was surprisingly cool and I soon regretted not taking a jacket. This was the first visit to the patch in over three months, the site continues to be built upon slowly, but not as bad as I had feared. The rice was at various stages of growth and offered a nice variety of micro habitats, a couple of wet paddies held a nice mix of waders, including a female Painted Snipe, 40 Wood Sandpiper, 4 Common Sandpiper, 5 Little Ringed Plover and 6 Marsh Sandpipers. A male Pied harrier was probably the smartest looking bird of the morning, with other raptors including a Black Baza and two Shikra.

Eastern Stonechats
Plenty of winter visitors around with 7 Common Kingfisher,10 Brown Shrike, 3 Taiga Flycatcher, Black-naped Monarch, 17 Eastern Stonechat, 20 Black-browed Reed, 8 Pallas's Grasshopper, 2 Lanceolated, 20 Dusky and 3 Yellow-browed Warbler. Herons and Egrets included 6 Grey, 2 Purple and 3 Night Heron, 7 Yellow and 3 Cinnamon Bittern.

Other species noted during the morning included 3 Black-capped Kingfisher, Ruddy-breasted Crake, 10 Pheasant-tailed and 4 Bronze-winged Jacana, 3 Chestnut-tailed Starling and 100 Baya Weaver.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Black Bitterns and Forest Wagtail

White-shouldered Starlings
On the way back to Suphanburi we stayed Friday night at Nakhon Sawan, to check out accommodation options for a birding trip to Beung Bhoraphet next month. I spent a couple of hours birding around the bird park on the south side of the lake, as always lots of birds, best three different Black Bitterns and 2 Forest Wagtails. Around the car park at least 60 White-shouldered Starlings were present along with a pair of Speckled-breasted Woodpecker and along the nature trail numerous Black-browed and Oriental Reed Warbler, Dusky Warblers and at least 7 Siberian Rubythroat including several very obliging males feeding on the paths. 
Coppersmith Barbet
Also recorded were at least 50 Garganey, 6 Cotton Pygmy Goose, Stork-billed and 4 Black-capped Kingfisher, many Blue-tailed Bee-eater, 2 Pink-necked Green Pigeon, 100 Purple Swamphen, 2 Ruddy-breasted Crake, Pheasant-tailed and Bronze-winged Jacana, 50 Black-winged Stilt, 3 Black Kite, 4 Black Baza, 4 Purple Heron, 3 Cinnamon and 2 Yellow Bittern, a female Cyornis flycatcher, 4 Yellow-vented Bulbul, Striated Grassbird and Yellow-bellied Prinia.

Grey-headed Lapwing

New Year's day afternoon I spent a couple of hours wandering around rice paddies and scrub near Chiang Dao Town, all the usual species were recorded, best was a big flock of 43 Grey-headed Lapwing  on flooded paddies. Other noteworthy species were Wyrneck, 8 Pintail and 4 Common Snipe, 2 Green Sandpiper, Rufous-winged Buzzard, 6 Wire-tailed SwallowSiberian Rubythroat, 30 Chestnut-tailed Starling, 4 Richard's Pipit, 8 Eastern Yellow Wagtail  and a single Citrine Wagtail