Thursday, December 10, 2015

Winter Visitors

Purple Heron by Fred Rowe
Though there were plenty of birds on the local patch at Suphanburi this morning, they were mostly the same standard species I have been seeing over the past few weeks, so this morning I decided to make an effort and count all the winter visitors which now seem to present in good numbers, producing some good totals with: 6 Common Kingfisher, 3 Black-backed Kingfisher, 55 Whiskered Tern, 2 Grey Heron, 2 Purple Heron, 9 Brown Shrike, 5 Black-naped Oriole, 3 Taiga Flycatcher, 3 Siberian Rubythroat, 16 Eastern Stonechat, 400 Eurasian Swallow, 17 Black-browed Reed Warbler, 4 Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler, 2 Lanceolated Warbler, 33 Oriental Reed Warbler, 2 Thick-billed Warbler, 8 Yellow-browed Warbler and 8 Red-throated Pipit.  
  
Oriental Reed Warbler by Fred Rowe
With water levels being low and most of the area covered in half grown rice, there are currently very few areas of open water, as a result wader numbers were low, and apart from good numbers of Red-wattled Lapwing, the only other waders noted were 2 Little Ringed Plover, 4 Pintail, 2 Common and 7 Painted Snipe
Indian Cormorant by Fred Rowe
Resident species included two Slaty-Breasted Rail, 3 Ruddy-breasted Crake, 4 Bronze-winged Jacana, 8 Yellow Bittern, a flock of 120 Indian Cormorant, 50 Asian Golden Weaver and 4 Red Avadavat. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Sightings 28th November-9th December 2015

Wood Sand by Fred Rowe

Sightings from the past week/ten days

28th Nov 2015
Pho Tong (near Ang Thong) - 53 Painted Stork, 2 Black-eared Kite, 4 White-shouldered Starling

1st Dec 2015
Suphanburi - 2 Glossy Ibis, 1 Pied Harrier, 38 Grey-headed Lapwing

2nd Dec 2015
Suphanburi - 37 Grey-headed Lapwing, 15 Pacific Golden Plover, 104 Wood Sandpiper, 1 Pied Harrier, 4 Ashy Minivet, 30 Asian Golden Weaver

3rd Dec 2015
Song Phi Nong - 2 Pied Avocet (with c1500 Black-winged Stilt), 13 Garganey, 1 Pintail, 2 Watercock, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 150 Wood Sandpiper, 1 Temminck's Stint, 350 Whiskered Tern, 1 Oriental Honey Buzzard, 3 Eastern Marsh Harrier, 2 Black-headed Ibis, 2 Glossy Ibis, 13 Painted Stork, 11 Black-headed Munia

5th Dec 2015
Song Phi Nong - 5 Garganey, 2 Freckled-breasted Woodpecker, 11 Grey-headed Lapwing, 200 Wood Sandpiper, 3 Common Sandpiper, 2 Eastern Marsh Harrier, 2 Pied Harrier, 2 Glossy Ibis, 1 Oriental Darter, 1 Long-tailed Shrike, 55 White-shouldered Starling, 2 Striated Grassbird, 250 Baya Weaver, 2 Red Avadavat

9th Dec 2015
Suphanburi - Chestnut-winged Cuckoo 1 (late migrant?) 23 Grey-headed Lapwing, 1 Black-winged Cuckoo Shrike, 1 Black-naped Monarch

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Highlights from the local patch at Suphanburi over the last couple of days:

26th November 2015
Freckled-breasted Woodpecker 2, Watercock 1, Ruddy-breasted Crake 3, Spotted Redshank 1, Wood Sandpiper 55, Grey-headed Lapwing 47, Black-eared Kite 2, Painted Stork 2, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo 3, Black-naped Monarch 1, Siberian Rubythroat 3, Lancolated Warbler 2, Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler 4 and Red Avadavat 4.  

Siberian Rubythroat
by Fred Rowe
25th November 2015
Pink-necked Green Pigeon 3, Ruddy-breasted Crake 1, Spotted Redshank 1, Greenshank 3, Wood Sandpiper 45, Grey-headed Lapwing 35, Caspian Tern one high south, Painted Stork 2, Glossy Ibis 2 over shortly after dawn, Black-naped Monarch 1, Siberian Rubythroat 2 and Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler 2. 

Painted Stork
by Fred Rowe
The Caspian Tern was the first I have recorded over/on the site and made a change from the usual Whiskered Tern which were also present in good numbers. It is also interesting to note that over the last few years, I have recorded an increasing number of both Glossy Ibis and Painted Stork, two species which seem to be currently doing well in Thailand. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Slaty-legged Crake - Doi Inthanon

Have just spent the last two nights at Doi Inthanon, again staying at Lung Deang's, despite lots of rain good numbers of species seen, the star bird being a Slaty-legged Crake present in the gully at the back of Mr Deang's, throughout our stay.  

video

During the drier interludes I made several visits to most of the key birding areas. Lots of birds at summit and around the boardwalk, including 8 Rufous-throated Partridge, 2 Ashy Woodpigeon, a Dark-sided Thrush, 2 Snowy-browed Flycatcher, White-browed Shortwing, 2 Northern White-crowned Forktail, Yellow-browed Tit, 8 Buff-barred Warbler, 2 Pygmy Wren Babbler  as well as the usual Dark-backed Sibia, Bar-throated Minla, Silver-eared Laughingthrush, Ashy-throated WarblerGreen-tailed and Mrs Gould's Sunbirds

Silver-eared Laughingthrush
by Fred Rowe
The roadside forest beyond the second checkpoint were full of birds, after a couple of visit I had managed decent list just from this area alone, best species in addition to many common ones  included 2 Stripe-breasted Woodpecker, 2 Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker, 3 Speckled Woodpigeon, 2 Barred Cuckoo Dove, 25 Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon, Peregrine, 3 Maroon Oriole, 35 Eye-browed Thrush, Grey-chinned, Short-billed and Long-tailed Minivet, a male Zappy's Flycatcher, White-gorgeted Flycatcher, Large, Small  and Rufous-beilled Niltava, 2 Chestnut-vented Nuthatch, Yellow-browed Tit, several Mountian Tailorbird and Slaty-bellied Tesia, 3 Hume's Warbler, 2 Chestnut-crowned Warbler, 2 Clicking Shrike Babbler, 6 Blue-winged Minla, 5 Spectacled Barwing and 3 Rufous-backed Sibia.   

Grey-chinned Minivet
by Fred Rowe
Over two visits to the track at kilometer 34.5, I saw many of the species previously mentioned as well as 2 Lesser Yellownape, Asian Emerald Cuckoo, 5 Oriental Turtle Dove, Black Eagle, 8 Long-tailed Broadbill, 2 Slender-billed Oriole, 5 Fire-capped Tit, 4 White-bellied Redstart all calling from scrub in the valley at the end of the trail, 2 Hume's Treecreeper, 40 White-headed Bulbul in flowering trees, 2 Russet Bush Warbler which as usual were heard but not seen, 2 Buff-throated Warbler, single Pallas's and Chinese Leaf WarblerBlack-eared Shrike Babbler, 2 Rusty-cheeked Scimiter Babbler, 30 Silver-eared Mesia and 15 Grey-headed Parrotbills.  

One of the most conspicuous species throughout the time I was at Doi Inthanon, were White-eyes with flock of birds up to a hundred strong everywhere, with Chestnut-flanked dominating. 


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Woodpeckers

Monday spent the full day birding at Mae Ping National Park, mostly along the road to the Tung Kik campsite and track beyond, the park was very quiet, seeing only about four people all day. The rarest bird was a Black Stork  over forest viewable form the campsite. As always though the star birds were the woodpeckers, with seven species noted, including 5 Grey-capped Pygmy, 3 Greater Yellownape, 15 Black-headed (with many more heard), 4 Common Flameback, 1 Rufous Woodpecker, 11 Great-slaty (in three groups) and 2 White-bellied Woodpecker. The Great-slaty Woodpecker were especially impressive showing throughout the day at the kilometer 2 roadside marker, with four species feeding together at kilometer 4. 

White-bellied Woodpecker
by Fred Rowe
It was also nice to see a Chinese Francolin feeding out in the open at the campsite, normally this species is heard but not seen, eventually it realized it was being watched and soon disappeared. Several groups of Yellow-footed Green Pigeon were fluhed from roadside trees and from the camp ground. Other lowland forest species noted included at least 40 Grey-headed Parakeet, an Oriental Turtle Dove, Burmese Shrike, 3 Rufous Treepie, 11 Red-billed Blue Magpie, 40 White-crowned Laughingthrush, 3 Burmese Nuthatch and 3 Yellow-streaked Warbler. The list of other species was typically poor, but did include very large numbers of wintering Yellow-browed and Two-barred Warbler, Black-naped Monarch and Taiga Flycatcher.  
Red-billed Blue Magpie
by Fred Rowe


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Hoopoe and Watercock

Back around the local patch at Suphanburi this morning, best birds a Hopooe, a species I have only seen a few times before locally and two Watercock which were typically flushed never to be seen again. As well as the usual  big flocks of Black-winged Stilt other waders noted included 45 Wood Sandpiper, 45 Wood Sandpiper, 5 Common Snipe, 4 Little Ringed Plover, 3 Pin-tailed Snipe and 2 Common Snipe. At least three broods of Little Grebe were noted along with good numbers of Pheasant-tailed and Bronzed Winged Jacana

Little Grebes
Other species recorded included 3 Black-capped Kingfisher, 2 Ruddy-breasted Crake, 250 Whiskered Tern, 9 Brown Shrike, 15 Eastern Stonechat, 10 Oriental Reed Warbler, 8 Red-throated Pipit and at least 50 Asian Golden Weaver.

Asian Golden Weaver


Thursday, October 29, 2015

First Spoon-billed Sandpiper of the winter.

Spot-billed Pelican
I have just had two great great days birding on the coast between between Pak Thale and Leam Pak Bia as usual lots of waders and terns in the area. Upon arriving at Pak Thale on Wednesday morning the second bird I looked at through the scope was an adult Spoon-billed Sandpiper and was presumably the same bird which had been reported here a few days earlier, it was still present the next day. Scarcer waders in the area included at least 403 Terek Sandpiper and 11 Red Knot (both the largest numbers I have seen here), 13 Red-necked Phalarope, 6 Sanderling, 2 Asiatic Dowitcher and a surprise summer plumage Dunlin.





Waders at Pak Thale
Counts of other waders present: 2350 Great Knot, 1700 Eurasian Curlew, 575 Curlew Sandpiper, 118 Whimbrel and 57 Bar-tailed Godwit. Also present were large numbers of Red-necked Stint, Marsh Sandpiper, Kentish Plover, Greater and Lesser Sandplover and a scattering of Redshank, Greenshank, Long-toed Stint and Little Ringed Plover.
Marsh Sandpipers
There was also good numbers of Brown-headed Gull in the area among which were two 1st year Heuglin's Gull and four Black-headed Gull. Just after dawn on Wednesday a group of 120 Garganey flew north and up to 18 Painted Stork were around.

Lots of birds also on the salt pans at Leam Pak Bia where best bird was a first year Black-tailed Gull over with Brown-headed Gulls. Also in the area were 8 Nordmann's Greenshank, 84 Common Redshank, 60 Pacific Golden Plover, 4 Terek Sandpiper, several hundred Red-necked Stint, 107 Painted Stork, 3 Spot-billed Pelican, 2 Pintail which looked out of place sat in the middle of a salt pan, a Bluethroat and at least 13 Richard's Pipit.

Intermediate Egret
Gull-billed and Little Terns
 Huge numbers of terns were also present along the entire length of the coast, roosting at high tide on the salt pans, including a group of 53 Gull-billed Tern, several thousand Common and Little Tern and a smaller numbers of Caspian and White-winged Black Tern.
Pin-tailed Snipe
I made several visits into the research project at Leam Pak Bia where up to 8 Spot-billed Pelican were always present, along with four Ruff, a couple of Temminck's Stint, several Pin-tailed Snipe, lots of egrets, Paddyfield and Richard's Pipits. In the evenings several Black-crowned Night Heron showed exceptionally well just alongside the car.
Night Heron
Pacific Golden Plover
Shortly after a rain shower on Tuesday four Oriental Honey Buzzard and a pale phase Booted Eagle lifted out of the mangroves and headed south. In the mangroves, along the board walk, good numbers of Golden-bellied Gerygone seen, along with a Mangrove Whsitler, an Asian Brown Flycatcher and a small group of Ashy Minivet.


Spot-billed Pelicans

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Hua Hin

We have spent the last two nights at Hua Hin, though not a birding break still managed to sneek in the odd bit of birding as well as spending a lot of time looking at the sea from our sea front balcony. A few birds around the hotel and in nearby scrub including a Purple-backed Starling, Greater Spotted Eagle, Thick-billed Warbler and a few Black-naped Oriole. Seawatching produced little apart from a handful of White-winged Black, Common and Whiskered Tern and two Brown-headed Gull.

Yellow Wagtail
Yesterday we also did a bit of tourist stuff and visited Ratchapakdi Park to look at the giant statues of the seven 'great' King's of Thailand. Plenty of birds in the heavily manicured and irrigated grounds including at least 130 Yellow Wagtail, 50 Paddyfield Pipit and Blue-tailed, Blue-throated and Little Green Bee-eater.




'Sea watching'

Monday, October 26, 2015

LPB Research Project

Yesterday afternoon whilst on the way to Hua Hin for a couple of days, we popped in briefly to the Research Project at Leam Pak Bia, as usual plenty of birds including 5 Spot-billed Pelican, 2 Ruff, 33 Pacific Golden Plover and a few Spotted Redshank, Common Redshank, Marsh Sandpiper, Greenshank, Common Sandpiper and various egrets. I will be returning to this area for a couple of days later in the week to have a proper look at the waders in the area, a  Spoon-billed Sandpiper  was reported nearby at Pak Thale yesterday.

Spot-billed Pelican
Little Egret
Wood Sandpiper
Marsh Sandpiper
Great Egret

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Oriental Cuckoo and Bluethroat

Lots of birds around the patch this morning at Suphanburi, most notable of which were single Garganey, Oriental Cuckoo and a Bluethroat. Waders and other waterbirds noted included 4 Common Kingfisher, 2 Purple Swamphen, 3 Ruddy-breasted Crake, 5 Pintail Snipe, 11 Common Snipe, 23 Wood Sandpiper, 2 Common Sandpiper, 33 Grey-headed Lapwing, 25 Whiskered Tern, 3 Bhraminy Kite, a Painted Stork and at least 5380 Open-billed Stork either side of the south east quarter of the Suphanburi by-pass, with many more distant birds not counted.



Open-billed Storks and Egrets
Plenty of migrants and winter visitors also around this morning, especially warblers with 11 Black-browed Reed, 10 Oriental Reed, 1 Thick-billed, 4 Dusky, 5 Yellow-browed and 4 Two-barred Warbler. Also recorded were 5 Brown Shrike, 4 Black-naped Oriole, 3 Taiga Flycatcher, around 2500 Barn Swallow and 3 Richard's Pipit.

Noteworthy among the resident species was a Long-tailed Shrike and 25 Asian Golden Weaver.

On Thursday I spent a couple of hours driving around the paddies to the east of Suphanburi, best birds was a total of 111 Grey-headed Lapwing in three flocks, on recently ploughed paddies, 33 Little Grebe including three broods of newly hatched young, 53 Pheasant-tailed and 11 Bronze-winged Jacana and at least 2335 Black-winged Stilt but few other waders.
 

Friday, October 16, 2015

Chinese Sparrowhawk

Far less on the move at Chiang Dao this morning, with 13 Chinese Sparrowhawk, 11 Grey-faced Buzzard, 3 Oriental Honey Buzzard, 2 Black Baza, male Pied Harrier, 11 Ashy Minivet, 5 Spangled Drongo and 4 Chestnut-headed Bee-eater south 0730-1300hrs.

Others species recorded included 2 Oriental Pied Hornbill, 2 Blue-bearded Beeater, 2 Violet Cuckoo and 30 Brown-backed Needletail.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Buzzards and Bazas

The two main species of raptors on the move this morning over Chiang Dao were Grey-faced Buuzard and Black Baza, with totals of 14 and 19 south between 0830 and 1300hrs. Also heading south were three Oriental Honey Buzzard, Peregrine, 9 Accipter sp, 11 Ashy Minivet, 9 Chestnut-headed Bee-eatear, 11 Spangled Drongo and 33 Chestnut-tailed Starling in three groups. Heading in the opposite direction 7 Amur Falcon headed north, with resident raptors including a Kestrel, Oriental Hobby and at least 7 Crested Goshawk, which included at least five displaying males.

Other species noted around the garden at the temple included, two Violet Cuckoo, 5 Drongo Cuckoo, 2 Northern White-crowned Forktail, Orange-breasted Trogon, Purple-naped Sunbird and 2 Crimson Sunbird.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Raptors

Arrived at Chiang Dao yesterday afternoon, after a short walk to the nearby temple this morning much of the rest of the day was spent looking out for raptors on the move. A total of 73 birds, of at least 10 species were noted, between 0830 and 1300hrs, those heading south included:

17 Oriental Honey Buzzard
9 Grey-faced Buzzard
6 Black Baza
4 Eastern Marsh Harrier
3 Eurasian Hobby
9 Accipter sp

In addition 19 Amur Falcon headed north and resident raptors included at least 5 Crested Goshawk and an Oriental Hobby.
Bronzed Drongo
There seemed to be a fair number of migrants and winter visitors around this morning, which included a Yellow-rumped Flycatcher,4 Olive-backed Pipit, 12 Two-barred Warbler, 20 Yellow-browed Warbler, 2 Claudia's Leaf Warbler, 6 Taiga Flycatcher, 3 Brown Shrike, 7 White Wagtail, 4 Grey Wagtail, 4 Chestnut-tailed Starling, Blue Rock Thrush, 50 Asian House Martin and 11 Fork-tailed Swift.
Brown Shrike
Other species also noted included 2 Green-legged Partridge, Purple-naped Sunbird, Crimson Sunbird, Drongo Cuckoo, Banded Bay Cuckoo, Great Barbet, Orange-breasted Trogon, Yellow-vented and Thick-billed Flowerpecker and Green Magpie.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Lampang

We have had quite a bit of family stuff to catch up with over the last couple of days and the next few, despite this I have managed to snatch a few hours out birding.This afternoon I visited Hang Chat Arboretum at Lampang in Northern Thailand, despite some nice habitat the only birds of note were two Rufous-winged Buzzard, 3 Asian Brown Flycatcher and 3 Taiga Flycatcher.

Later I  managed to bribe the grandson into showing me some tracks into some decent forest, scrub and around several lakes behind the market at Tung Kwian just north of Lampang, which I had picked out from google earth. Despite it being the afternoon a decent selection of species were seen including Barred Buttonquail, Black-eared Kite, 2 Bhraminy Kite, Black Baza, Burmese Shrike, 3 Brown Shrike, Rufous Treepie, 6 Indochinese Bushlark, 2 Richard's Pipit and 3 Eastern Stonechat.

I was surprised to see around 30 swiftlets low over Lampang city center, which looked like Pale-rumped/Germain's Swiftlet, these had no doubt been introduced as part of a nest farming operation.

During the six hour drive to Lampang yesterday, at least 10 Black-eared Kite were noted presumably all in the process of heading south, along with at 16 Painted Stork near Kampeang Phet.  

Friday, October 9, 2015

Pheasant-tailed Jacana

In heavy rain I failed to get out this morning, but in drier conditions this afternoon I headed out to try and get some half decent photos of breeding plumage Pheasant-tailed Jacana. Despite seeing around 70 all were a bit distant and the rubbish photo below was the best I could do.


Other noteworthy birds included, a Glossy Ibis, two Garganey with a large flock of Lesser Whistling Duck, 2 Freckled-breasted Woodpecker, 3 Wood Sandpiper, 12 Oriental Pratincole and 2 Red Avadavat. A flock of around 150 House Sparrows was a good count locally, this species seems to becoming increasingly widespread around Suphanburi over the past few years.

As is often the case one of the closest birds to the car, was a Pond Heron.


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

4th and 7th October 2015

Arrived back in Thailand on the 4th, some of the first birds seen were three Spot-billed Pelican on pools along the perimeter fence Suvarnabhumi Airport Bangkok.

Got out on to the local patch at Suphanburi for the first time this morning (7th Oct), the patch is still there, though there has been some further development in places since leaving.

Migrants/winter visitors included:
Black-capped Kingfisher 3, Chestnut-winged Cuckoo 2, Pintail Snipe 3, Greenshank 2, Wood Sandpiper 25, Grey-headed Lapwing 13, Oriental Pratincole 55, Whiskered Tern 60, Black Bittern 2, Brown Shrike 6, Taiga Flycatcher 2, Dusky Warbler 2 and Arctic Warbler 1.

Noteworthy records/counts among the resident species included:
35 Pheasant-tailed Jacana (many still in breeding plumage), a Long-tailed Shrike (rapidly declining in Thailand), 300 Black-winged Stilt, 10 Yellow Bittern and a Cinnamon Bittern.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Chinese Egret and Bhraminy Starling

Have just returned from a couple of days birding with friends on the coast at Laem Pak Bia/Pak Thale, as always loads of good birds to see. The first afternoon we took a boat trip out onto the sand spit with Khun Deang, all the usual species present. including an obliging Chinese Egret.


Chinese Egret
Both male and female White-faced Plover showed well, along with half a dozen Malaysian Plover. Other waders present included Kentish and Lesser Sandplover, several Sanderling and good numbers of Broad-billed Sandpiper.

White-faced Plover
by Fred Rowe
Despite some disturbance by anglers there was a decent gull/tern roost, which included 4 Pallas's Gull, 5 Lesser Crested, 70 Great Crested and 40 Caspian Tern, along with good numbers of Brown-headed Gull, Common and Little Tern.

Caspian and Greater Crested Terms, Pallas's and Brwon-headed Gulls

The rest of the afternoon was spent in the research project where, several Ruddy-breasted Crake and a Slaty-breasted Crake. Also present was a Ruff, several very close Night Heron and a pair of Racket-tailed Treepie.

Ruddy-breasted Crake
by Fred Rowe
Night Heron
The next day we started birding at Pak Thale, working our way south back towards Leam Pak Bia, huge numbers of waders and terns in the area, with good numbers of Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Red-necked and Long-toed Stint, Curlew and Broad-billed Sandpiper, Marsh SandpiperLesser Sandplover,  Kentish Plover and smaller numbers of Temminck's Stint, Spotted and Common Redshank and Common Greenshank.

Temminck's Stint
Red-necked Stint, Curlew and Broad-billed Sandpiper

Great Knot
Scarcer waders included a Spoon-billed Sandpiper, 15 Red-necked Phalarope, 1200 Great Knot, 5 Red Knot, 24 Nordmann's Greenshank and 3 Terek Sandpiper

We finished the mornings birding at the rubbish tip, near the abandoned building, but were  disappointed to find that virtually all the scrub and trees in the area have been cleared and the land put up for sale. There were however a few birds still in the area, the best a Bhraminy Starling, a Thai rarity, the only other birds of note were a pair of Indochinese Bushlark.

Streaked Weaver
by Fred Rowe
We spent the afternoon birding fields and scrub around a pond inland from Pak Thale, despite the heat plenty of birds around, including several hundred weavers, which included very good numbers of Streaked and Golden. Among the weavers at least 10 Chestnut Munia were present and half a dozen Red Avadavat, some of which showed well. 

Red Avadavat
by Michael Rooney
A male and female Pied Harrier were present in the area, and on the small pool Ruddy-breasted Crake, Bronze-winged Jacana, Yellow Bittern were all present. In nearby fields there were several Purple Heorn along with small numbers of Red-throated Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, Eastern Stonechat, Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler, Wood Sandpiper and two Pintail Snipe

Bronze-winged Jacana