Tuesday, September 23, 2008

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 http://www.thaibirding.com/locations/central/srf.htm

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).

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