Saturday, September 27, 2008

A fifth kingfisher

Having found out earlier in the week that my workload is probably going to increase exponentially in the next few weeks I decided to make the most of the current lull and headed to Suan Rot Fai at 4pm yesterday. Birdwise it was more of the same as seen in recent days - a new Paradise Flycatcher (this one a 1st winter), now two Taiga Flycatchers showing well, one female Yellow-rumped Flycatcher and a brief glimpse of a Black-capped Kingfisher which was pleasing as it was well overdue (they normally arrive in the first week of September) and because it is the fifth species of Kingfisher I've seen in SRF. A bird photographer saw a Ruddy Kingfisher in the same area last week, so there is definately scope to add another species!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The last hour of day light

Spent one hour in Suan Rot Fai before dark – first bird I saw was this rather delicious male Yellow-rumped Flycatcher, quickly followed by Eastern Crowned and Arctic Warblers, a Red-rumped Swallow, 2 Brown Shrikes, 5 Asian Brown Flycatchers, a single Taiga Flycatcher (the first of the autumn) and a yesterday’s Siberian Blue Robin lurking in the undergrowth again. Not bad for an hour, and almost as good as Shetland today!

Asian Brown Flycatcher

Brown-chested Jungle Flycatcher

Khun Mohporn has posted a picture of the BROWN-CHESTED JUNGLE FLYCATCHER (seen on 21st September) here and there is a forum on the bird (with lots of high quality images) here

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Paradise in Suan Rot Fai

A quick trip early morning revealed a very nice female Asian Paradise Flycatcher, two Eastern Crowned Warblers, one Arctic Warbler, and lingering female-type Yellow-rumped Flycatcher and a couple of Asian Brown Flys. Halfway through the walk I remembered that Phil Round mentioned peak dates for Siberian Blue Robin passage being around 23/24th September, so I started examining the undergrowth very carefully, seemingly to no avail (as expected), then just as i was about to break out onto the main trail I flushed a bird that perched up briefly in front of me, long enough for me to get the bins on, and it to imprint on my retina - 1st winter female SIBERIAN BLUE ROBIN. Too quick for the camera though...

Asian Paradise Flycatcher (incei), Phil Round has commented: The blackish throat contrasting with the grey breast and belly tells you that this is the migrant race, incei. Clearly bluish bill and orbital indicates an adult (greyish, bill flesh-based in 1Y), so presumably a female.

Yellow-rumped Flycatcher photos

Here are a couple of my (not very good) shots of yellow-rumped flycatchers...

Note the diagnostic laser-eye
Some more pictures from recent weeks...

Collared Kingfisher, common but stonking

Plain Prinia..zzzzz

Brown Shrike (21st Sept)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Some recent pix:

Tiger Shrike, Suan Rot Fai, 19th Sept 2008

Blue-tailed Bee-eater, from my desk whilst working...

Oh my god, look what the cat dragged in!
a few recent photos...

White-thraoted Kingfisher, Laem Pak Bia (Thanks to Phil Round for taking myself and Charles Davies ringing)

This is a blog of my birding exploits at Suan Rot Fai, a park in Bangkok, Thailand. A direct translation of "Suan Rot Fai" is "Park of the Electric Train", reflecting the fact that the park is very close to one of the terminus stations (Mo Chit) for Bangkok's Sky Train, and hence the name "electric birding" for the blog. More details about the park can be found at

I've lived in Bangkok since 2002, but had always ignored the local birding options in favour of something more exotic - Khao Yai, Kaeng Krachan, or Doi Inthanon National Parks, or further afield in Borneo. However, recently Phil Round published "Birds of Bangkok", an informative book with stacks of data about the city's birdlife, and as a result I decided to check out Suan Rot Fai and discovered that it is actually a very big park, and is rammed with birdlife. Since my first visit of 22nd August (one month ago) I've seen loads of excellent birds, including significant numbers of "sibes" which get the pulse of an English birder like me racing (even if Suan Rot Fai is not on Bryher!).

Highlights to date at Suan Rot Fai have included Stork-billed Kingfisher, more than 10 Yellow-rumped Flycatchers, Forest Wagtail, Arctic, Eastern Crowned and Yellow-browed Warblers, Brown and Tiger Shrikes, Asian Brown Flycatcher, and Black-naped Oriole. Pride of place however must go to the BROWN-CHESTED JUNGLE FLYCATCHER that I found on Sunday 21st Sept - a rare passage migrant and listed as globally threatened. I never imagined I'd see a Red Data Bird in the middle of Bangkok!

In addition to these birds on the patch, I've also had a migrant Blue-tailed Bee-eater from our house, and found a stonking male Siberian Blue Robin dead in our front yard. Migration is in full swing (though not for the Robin any more).