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


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


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.