Sunday, November 30, 2008

Of Monarchs...

Lovely visit to Suan Rot Fai this morning, with "chilly" dawn temperatures (but still not cold enough for long sleeves!). The dry season is making it's presence felt now, with significant leaf drop from the trees - combined with the cool temperatures this almost felt like an autumn day in England! Birding was disticntly better than any autumn day could produce in the UK however, with two patch ticks - first a female BLACK-NAPED MONARCH picked up on call and watched flycatching in the foliage for a few minutes at sunrise, and secondly a THICK-BILLED WARBLER also picked up on call ("tacking" continuously) and watched for 10 minutes moving slowly through riverside vegetation. Other migrants/winterers includes 4 Brown Shrikes, 5 Yellow-browed Warblers, 8 Asian Brown, and 15+ Taiga Flys, and three large pipits (Paddyfiled/Richard's but not seen well).

Friday, November 28, 2008

Is it a bird? is it a plane...?

...well it certainly isn't a plane!

Opened the bedroom blind at dawn this morning to find an Asian Open-billed Stork thermalling in the distance, it made a couple of turns and then came straight over the house. I've seen one from one of the downtown skytrain station platforms once before, but otherwise they seem pretty uncommon in the inner city, and this was a garden tick.

Given the fact that both Bangkok airports are closed by protests, it seems that this bird will be the biggest thing in the city's skies today!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

25th November 2008

Another dead Siberian Blue Robin in my front yard when I got home from work, this time an imm. male. I'm trying to work out how common these things are around my house (I've never found a dead Oriental Magpie Robin, and they are all over the place), or perhaps they are just good at finding cats...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


'nuff said...

Pete Simpson, and old mate from my early twitching days turned up in Bangkok a few weeks back, on his way to Doi Inthanon and the other joys of the north. I promised that upon his return I'd have some gen for him on the presence/absence of SPOON-BILLED SANDPIPERS in the Gulf of Thailand this winter, and so was pleased to learn last week that Sp-bS had been seen both at Khok Kham and Pak Thale. Pete duly reappeared after gripping me with a few of my DI bogeys, and I offered to take him out to see the Sp-bS...I owed him that at least - the poor guy had driven me from Surrey/Kent to see the Roller at East Budleigh, and a Black Duck near Glasgow (perhaps the most pointless twitch of all time? No, I was introduced to the Stone Roses en route) in the late 1980s - and we spent this afternoon watching a single Spoon-billed Sandpiper in the company of the now famous Mr Tee at Khok Kham.

Mr Tee also told me that there are currently 8 Spoon-billed Sands at Pak Thale, plus five Nordamann's Greenshank.

Other waders seen today included RN Stint, LT Stint, Broad-billed Sand, Curlew Sand, both Sandpolvers, Pacific Goldie, and Black -winged Stilt...

Friday, November 14, 2008

A cold (!) snap

The wonderfully cool temperatures that Bangkok is experiencing at the moment (lows of about 19 celcius) made a wander around SRF a real pleasure this morning.

Birdwise, there seemed to have been a recent arrival of YELLOW-BROWED WARBLERS, with at least four calling, plus a smattering of TAIGA FLYCATCHERS who I’m assuming are set in for the winter. Other padders included a couple of BLACK-CAPPED KINGFISHERS, a COMMON KINGFISHER, two ASHY DRONGOS, 5+ BLACK-NAPED ORIOLES, single ASIAN PARADISE FLYCATCHER (incei) and ASIAN BROWN FLYCATCHER. One other notable sighting was a BARN SWALLOW with distinctly reddish underparts, perhaps of the race tytleri

Taiga Fly

My question is: where are the Hoopoes?? SRF is a converted golf course, with lots of grassy areas and scrubby edges, and I can just imagine something black-and-white-and-pink flapping around there sometime soon… Also, Verditer Flycatcher, a late migrant, should be on the cards before the month is out.

Ashy Drongos

9th November 2008

A quick sprint on my mountain bike to the corner shop for a bottle of milk was brought to a screeching halt when I noticed an odd dead bird in the road –I glimpsed it as I sped past and saw streaking on the neck, I mentally though of female Black-naped Oriole, and so hit the brakes. You can imagine my astonishment when I went back and found that it was actually an juvenile CINNAMON BITTERN lying dead in the street, in the middle of urban Bangkok a long, long way from any wetland!

Perhaps most remarkable is that it was only 200 metres from where I saw a probable Black Bittern in flight a few weeks ago.

Bit(tern) the dust

3rd November 2008

Recent weeks have been rather too busy for patch watching, however a trip today yielded a few bits and bobs including ASHY DRONGO and RED-RUMPED SWALLOW.

Here are a few pixs of common species in the park...

Pied Fantail

Peaceful Dove

Chinese/Javan Pond Heron

Monster monitor