Monday, April 25, 2016

Another Crazy Crake

Following on from the Red-legged Crake that was hanging around Chulalonkorn University back in February, another mega Crake was found at Suan Rotfai on Saturday by birders visiting to see the Ruddy Kingfisher.

This time the bird in question was a Slaty-legged Crake, a seldom-seen forest bird that is best looked for around Kaeng Krachan.  I was out of town for the weekend, so I had to play it cool and take it in on my way to work this morning.  Fortunately the bird was still present and ludicrously easy to see, feeding in the open and occasionally taking cover in a flowerbed and a storm drain!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Purple reign

It's not ofter that I get to see birds with any purple colours in their plumage, but given the untimely passing of megastar Prince it was perhaps fitting that today I caught up with a Ruddy Kingfisher (purple sheen on the mantle) that has been present for the last couple of days.  This is a good local rarity, and only the third individual that I have seen on the patch.

Ruddy Kingfisher

 Also present today were a Forest Wagtail, two Yellow-rumped Flycatchers, a Dark-sided Flycatcher, Asian Brown Flycatcher and an Arctic Warbler spp.which demonstrated some interest in a tape of Kamchatka Leaf Warbler (but did not actually vocalise). 

female Yellow-rumped Flycatcher

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Yellow rumps

A quick look at Suan Rotfai this morning produced one Eye-browed Thrush, a Thick-billed Warbler, two Yellow-rumped Flycatchers and a Brown Shrike.

The Thrush was the least regular visitor amongst that lot, but the Yellow rumps stole the show.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Chinese Sprawk & Dark-sided Fly

Suan Rotfai during a 50 minute excursion this morning produced a couple of interesting birds - first up was an immature male Chinese Sparrowhawk that allowed incredibly close approach whilst it devoured an unidentified prey item.

Afterwards I located a tree that held three species of flycatcher - a very dowdy female Mugimaki, an Asian Brown and this rather excellent  Dark-sided Flycatcher (my first of the spring).

Dark-sided Flycatcher

female Mugimaki

Saturday, April 16, 2016

local passage

The last few days have produced a trickle of migrants on the local patch, with the following highlights:

A Black Baza hung around for about a week, and I finally caught up with it in style on 12th, when it decided to perch in a tree above me for ten minutes, seemingly totally unconcerned.

The 13th produced  further brief views of the Black Baza, as well as a 2nd cy male Mugimaki Flycatcher, singles of Taiga Flycatcher, Asian Brown Flycatcher, Brown Shrike, and Ashy Drongo. I also saw a Cuckoo spp (either Himalayan or India) very briefly as well as 20+ Ashy Minivet  and a pair of Yellow Bitterns.

2nd cy male Mugimaki Flycatcher

On 15th I made a quick check of the grounds of the Dept of Public Relations and found a singing Arctic Warbler (both Japanese and Kamchatka Leaf warblers eliminated through comparison of sound recordings from Xeno-canto).

On 16th April a check of Suan Rotfai produced a few more migrants with a single Forest Wagtail, two Thick-billed Warblers, three Ashy Minivets, 2-3 Yellow-rumped Flycatchers, singles of Asian Brown Flycatcher, Ashy Drongo, Brown Shrike, Yellow-browed Warbler and a Pale-legged Leaf Warbler.

Forest Wagtail

Monday, April 11, 2016

Asian Dowitcher Survey - 3rd April

Following on from the Survey done last spring I joined another co-ordinated effort to count north-bound Asian Dowitchers in the inner gulf of Thailand.

Last year we were a little disappointed with the numbers encountered during our survey on 19th April, which counter a total of 231 birds at several sites (my site held no more than 50 birds). This year however we did really well, with my two sites holding a combined total of 259 Dowitchers and another site holding a whopping 525 birds!

Of course at this time of the year many of the waders at looking very fine in the breeding attire, so it was a pleasure to undertake the survey.  Other notable birds recorded during my survey included 125 Red Knot and 97 Great Knot, plus one pool which held Red-necked, Long-toed and Temminck's Stint.

Long-toed Stint

Friday, April 8, 2016

I don't believe in Fairies

The first week on April has seen me pretty busy with limited birding opportunities, but I have managed a few hours (or less) here and there, and it being  April (the best month on my patch)  I have been pretty well rewarded with migrants, but then yesterday there came what can only be described as a substantial kick in the balls when one of the other SRF regulars found a FAIRY PITTA in the Canal Zone (photos here).  This is a monster patch bird, with one previous confirmed record in May 2013 and my possible/probable in April 2010 (details here) of a species that was only added to the Thailand list in April 2009, sadly it did not perform for me when I visited for half an hour between commitments yesterday and this morning it appears to have gone.


Nonetheless, it is still pretty early in the months, so I have another 3-4 weeks of high potential patchwork ahead of me.  The goodies I have had so far include Eye-browed Thrush on my last three patch visits,  Sakhalin Leaf Warbler (one this morning, coming in very close when I played Sakhalin LW song), two female Mugimaki Flycatchers, at least four Yellow-rumped Flycatchers, plenty of Ashy Minivets (flocks up to 30 strong),  single Black-winged Cuckooshrike and Fork-tailed Drongo Cuckoo.

Mugimaki Flycatcher

Mugimaki Flycatcher

Ashy Minivet