Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mae Wong disaster!!!!!!

In its infinite wisdom the Thai government has agreed "in principle" to a plan to build a US$42 million dam in Mae Wong National Park.

More here

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Indian Summer

Rather a heron-tastic morning on the patch this morning, with pride of place going to a fine summer plumaged Indian Pond Heron, a species that has only relatively recently been added to the Thai list and is now recorded in small numbers each spring (ie when the Pond Herons can be identified!). This was the first one that I have seen on the patch, and indeed in Thailand.

Indian Pond Heron

Other herons this morning included the juvenile Night Heron first seen a few weeks back, at least five Little Herons, and at least three Yellow Bitterns, plus the usual Little Egrets and Chinese Pond Herons (though curiously no Javan PH today).

The other highlight this morning was another patch tick, though perhaps less exciting, in the form of a pair of Plain-backed Sparrows - the male furiously courting his good lady. Other intheresting passerines were a bit thin on the ground, with only two Asian Brown Flycatchers, two Brown Shrikes and one Thick-billed Warbler.

male Plain-backed Sparrow

juv Night heron

Friday, April 20, 2012


Ministry of Public Relations again this morning, migrants included two Mugimaki Flycatchers, one of which flew over me gaining height and disappeared heading due north.

A short trip in the late afternoon produced two Yellow-rumped Flycatchers - one stunning male and one female.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

On the fly

Short early morning walk at the Ministry of Public Relations revealed yet more flycatcher passage, with 1 Mugimaki, 1-2 Dark-sided, 1 Asian Brown and one probable female Yellow-rumped (seen briefly and badly) all in a single flowering "Rain Tree" Albizia saman. When flowering, these trees seem to be very attractive to migrant fecidula/muscicapa spp - all the Mugimakis I have seen this spring have been feeding in them.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Still attracted to the Dark side

A short visit to SRF after work produced more prolonged views of yesterday's Dark-sided Flycatcher,  two Mugimakis, and a phyllosc seem in terrible light but which appeared to be an Arctic Warbler (all in the same tree!). The only other passerine migrants being an Asian Brown Fly seen and a Brown Shrike heard.

The photo of the Dark-sided Flycatcher below is not great, but it shows the key features quite well - note the long wings relative to the tail, the concave bill sides and the limited pale base to the bill, the whitish sub-moustacial, the "checkerboard" effect on the breast and the sharply defined white throat.  The overall ground colour is significantly darker than on Asian Brown Flycatcher.

the flash was strong on this one...

Monday, April 16, 2012

More migrants

0610-1010hrs at SRF. A good morning's birding but incredibly hot, this being the end of the dry season and the monsoon rains due any time now.  The birding was pretty high caliber, with four Mugimaki Flycatchers (one adult male, two 2cy males and one female, probably 2cy) - this is particularly notable as I have only seen two individuals of this species in the park before.  Also in the same area as these birds was a single adult Dark-sided Flycatcher (well-maked on the underparts and behaving quite differently from Asian Brown Fly by making big aerial sallies and perching on exposed branches). Elsewhere in the park I found a 2cy male Yellow-rumped Flycatcher. The other highlight was a total of three Forest Wagtails (one pair and a single), the first I have seen on the patch since last autumn.

In addition to these the "usual suspects" were represented by 2-3 Asian Brown Flycatchers, two Thick-billed Warblers and five Black-naped Orioles.  There were still one or two Black-capped Kingfishers present, and at least 15 Chinese Pond Herons. However, conspicuous by their absence were Taiga Flycatcher and Brown Shrike.

Dark-sided Flycatcher

2cy male Mugimaki Flycatcher

Forest Wagtail

Monday, April 9, 2012

Ashy Minivets

an overdue patch tick!

 SRF 0610-0940 hrs. The highlight this morning was a flock of c.10 Ashy Minivets, my first patch tick of 2012. They were feeding in a flowering Rain Tree in the company of a single Black-winged Cuckoo-shrike, an Ashy Drongo and a couple of Black-naped Orioles. Close to this area I had a couple of Yellow-rumped Flycatchers, including a cracking male.

Other migrants this morning included three Asian Brown Flys, two Taiga Flys,  two Brown Shrikes and one Thick-billed Warbler.

ssp. leucogenis

Sunday, April 8, 2012

More Mugimaki

Short walk at the Ministry of Public Relations this morning produced a few more passage birds including another Mugimaki Flycatcher (a female this time), two Thick-billed Warblers and an Asian Brown Flycatcher.

Friday, April 6, 2012


0610-0850 hrs on the patch. Migration in evidence with the highlights being a 2cy male Mugimaki Flycatcher at "The Edge" and a 2cy male Chinese Sparrowhawk heading purposefully north (seen as a silhouette but clinched from photos). Other migrants included a Pale-legged Leaf Warbler, a Radde's Warbler, four Thick-billed Warblers (including two in sub-song), five Asian Brown Flys, one Taiga Fly, one Ashy Drongo, 6+ Black-naped Orioles and two Brown Shrikes.

I also saw a Spotted Owlet, which is supposed to be the commoner owlet in Bangkok, though this is only the second time I've encountered the species in the park.



Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Eye-browed Thrushes on the move

Today's early morning walk at the Ministry of Public Relations was enlivened by the discovery of a small party of Eye-browed Thrushes - uncommon migrants through Bangkok, though I think they are under-recorded because of their unobtrusive habits.  I only saw one bird (briefly in flight) but there were at least another two birds calling close by.  Eye-browed Thrushes are one of my favourites, bringing back happy memories of St Agnes 1987!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Yellow-rumped Flycatcher

A walk at the Ministry of Public Relations this morning produced the first Yellow-rumped Flycatcher of the spring - a female.  Other winterers/migrants included a single Yellow-browed Warbler, a Brown Shrike and a Taiga Flycatcher, with a Black-naped Oriole in song.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


Quiet morning on the patch with the highlight being a pair of Open-billed Storks feeding on one of the park lakes that has been drained (for cleaning?).  Ont the same pond were about 25 pond herons, the vast majority of which were Chinese, rather than Javan.

Passerine migrants were thin on the ground, with three Asian Brown and three Taiga Flys, two Brown Shrikes, two Black-naped Orioles and one Yellow-browed Warbler.