Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My fifteen minutes of fame (in French-speaking Canada)

I went to Suan Rot Fai this morning to do an interview with a film crew from Canada's francophone Channel 5 TV (though I can't speak French!).  They ware making a series about Thailand and wanted some alternative ideas about what to do whilst in Bangkok, so got in touch with me about urban birding.  We even saw a few birds in between takes, including YELLOW BITTERN, BLACK DRONGO and COMMOM KINGFISHER.  I picked up a year tick, in the form of a BLACK-NAPED MONARCH as I exited the park.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Here is a stunning selection of SPOON-BILLED SANDPIPER photos from China (note that the forum thread has 6 pages!)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Thought I'd bring readers' attention to this: a beautiful photo essay narrated by the photographer documenting social and environmental issues affecting ethnic minority fisherfolk in Sulawesi.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


I worked the patch this morning, for the first time since November.  The landscape looks very different now, with dry season having turned everything brown, and thinning the canopies of most trees.

I found a number of fruiting trees, one of which was receiving a lot of attention from BLACK-NAPED ORIOLES and a small party of RED-WHISKERED BULBULS.  Also visiting this tree was this female WEDGE-TAILED GREEN PIGEON, a forest species from northern and western Thailand...

I presumed that this was an escaped cagebird from Chatuchak Market, and close examination of a couple of the images I took seem to support this theory...

Note the heavy wear on the primaries of the right wing (against the sky)

Note significant wear on the tip of the tail.

Other birds seen this morning included YELLOW BITTERN and ASIAN BARRED OWLET, with sibes represented by two THICK-BILLED WARBLERS, two BROWN SHRIKES, five or so TAIGA FLYCATCHERS, three ASIAN BROWN FLYCATCHERS and at least two YELLOW-BROWED WARBLERS.

male Asian Koel

Red-whiskered Bulbul

EDIT: My standard reference "Birds of the Bangkok Area" by Phil Round states that "Most green pigeons are noted wanderers, so there is always the slight possibility of encountering vagrants of the other Treron species", however he goes on to state that "the possibility of escaped captives of all these species cannot be excluded".  My images of the bird have been sent to a couple of people for considered opinion, so perhaps there is scope for it being a wild bird...

Dancing with an angel

The latter half of January and the start of Feb has seen me very busy with other things, so opportunities for birding have been zero. Mid January did however see me and visiting family visit Koh Lanta for a few days diving, with trips to Koh Haa  and Hin Daeng/Muang.  These stunning dive sites produced a fantastic array of sea life including BANDED SEA KRATE and BLACK-TIPPED REEF SHARK, withe last dive on the last day bringing us a wonderful 15 minute encounter with a 4 meter wide MANTA RAY - the first I've seen after 200 dives in tropical Asia, and well worth the wait.  I did see some birds from the dive boat, but they paled into insignificance after dancing with this oceanic angel!