Saturday, August 29, 2009

Thaksin Maharat National Park

I spent a few days this week in Mae Sot (in NW Thailand, close to the border with Burma) for work. Rather fortunately Thaksin Maharat NP is en route to Mae Sot, so I stopped on my way there and back to have a look around.

My first visit was in the late afternoon, with little bird activity. I played a tape of Asian Barred Owlet to elicit some response from the forest birds, and managed to pull in a group of WHITE-THROATED BULBULS, and of course an AsBO!

I also found this striking lizard, which I tried photographing with and without flash. I'm unsure on the ID, but from my rather limited fieldguide I think it belongs to the family Agamidae, possibly of the genus Calotes.

On my way back on Friday I found a flock of 30+ ASIAN OPENBILL STORKS feeding in roadside paddies just south of Nakon Sawan, so stopped to grab this shot.

Friday, August 28, 2009

More from Na Hin, Laos

Trying to edit and post when time allows - I think these are the last that are worth putting up for now...

Sooty Babblers: a small flock (circa 8 birds) seen on two dates on the karst. This species was "lost" for more than 70 years, being described from central Laos in 1920, and then not seen again until 1994 (in Vietnam, then subsequently in Laos). It is now listed as near-threatened.

The coppersmiths in central Laos look somewhat different from the ones in my garden!

Green-eared Barbet

Scarlet Minivet

Monday, August 24, 2009

Bare-faced Bulbul - more pictures

More pictures from 16th August - twitching the newly described Bare-faced Bulbul in central Laos.

As you can see in the pictures below, it has thin, rather sparse feathering on the forecrown, and it is only the face and ear coverts that are actually naked (even the central-rear crown appears to have a little feathering).

We were also lucky enough to see Lao Langur on a couple of occasions - the first was seen briefly by the road at very close range (missed it with the camera, arrgh!) in the karst forest, and the second was distantly from the viewpoint at km33 on Route 8 (see below).

Lao Langur (not many pictures of this thing seem to
exist..there seem to be none on Google images!)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The new bulbul

Just back from seeing some limestone specialists at Na Hin, central Laos (described on Birding2Asia).

Finding the newly described BARE-FACED BULBUL was straightforward - more details soon, but for now, here's a couple of pics...

Bare-faced Bulbul Pycnonotus hualon, Na Hin, Laos, 16th August 2009

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Migration underway, perhaps...?

Had a quick look around Suan Rot Fai this morning, and was a bit surprised to find two male BLACK-NAPED ORIOLES - Round (2008) says that migrants appear from mid-September, but there are a few records of confirmed breeding in Bangkok, so I'm not quite sure what to make of them... Not much else seen - the park was crawling with police because there was some kind of VIP visit taking place, related to the Queen's Birthday celebrations (tomorrow).

Common Tailorbird

Plain Prinia

Saturday, August 1, 2009

30th July 2009

Stuck at my desk in the study at home for most of the week, , but today this was a good thing as a group of c. 10 RED-BREASTED PARAKEETS passed the window a couple of times. I've occasionally seen ones and twos of these from the house before, but it was nice to get a reasonable sized group for the first time.