Monday, December 19, 2011

Urban birding with the Urban Birder

I took David Lindo and his partner, Penny for an early morning birding trip to Suan Rot Fai this morning.  David has done lots of birding in urban environments around the world, but I think my patch managed to hold its own!  Goodies this morning included yesterday's Black-winged Cuckooshrike and the long-staying male Chinese Blue Flycatcher, with a nice selection of "sibes" to make David's first venture in Asian avifauna somewhat overwhelming - at least six Brown Shrikes, several Yellow-brows, point-blank views of Taiga Flycatcher, two Asian Brown Flycatchers, several Blue-tailed Bee-eaters overhead, two races of Ashy Drongo, a single Black Drongo, 10+ Black-naped Orioles, prolonged views of Black-capped Kingfisher and a couple of Indian Rollers.

Brown Shrike

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Cuckooshrike & Scops Owl

6.45-9.00 am at Suan Rot Fai produced two patch ticks, and a good selection of winter visitors. The two new birds were a female Black-winged Cuckooshrike (an uncommon winter visitor to the Bangkok area) feeding in the mid- and upper level foliage of a rain tree in association with a mouhoti Ashy Drongo and a small party of Black-naped Orioles.

Black-winged Cuckooshrike

The other new bird was a Collared Scops Owl that I inadvertently flushed from its roost and perched up briefly to give me an evil stare. Despite this being "one of the most ecologically tolerant owls in Thailand" (Round 2008) this is the first time I have seen one at SRF.

Other notables this morning included one Thick-billed Warbler, one Asian Brown Flycatcher, 10+ Taiga Flycatchers, three Black-capped Kingfishers,  three Brown Shrikes and a Black-naped Monarch.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

15th Dec 2011

Started and ended the day with a bit of birding; early morning gave me nice views of a Peregrine over the Ministry of Public Relations, whilst a trip to Suan Rot Fai after work provided distant views of the male Chinese Blue Flycatcher again (bribed to stay in situ by a photographer's mealworms) two or three Thick-billed Warblers,  one Brown Shrike, four Taiga and five Asian Brown Flies.

Monday, December 12, 2011

A lovely winter's day, Bangkok style

Today was probably the coldest so far this "winter" - it must have got down to about 17 celcius by dawn and so was wonderfully cool.  My early morning walk (still in shorts and T-shirt) to the Ministry of Public Relations produced some nice birding - the first Thick-billed Warbler I have seen at this site, a Black-naped Monarch, Yellow-browed Warbler and three Taiga Flys.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Blue Flys and Green Pigs

A couple of hours on the patch early morning showed early promise with a pair of Radde's Warblers in "The Ramble". I picked them up on my first circuit of this part of the park, and on a second sweep picked up a female Cyornis flycatcher which eventually showed well in response to some pishing - the pale throat indicating that it was a Chinese Blue Flycatcher.

From this angle it could be one of several Cyornis spp

Rufous breast, with pale throat in a point reaching to base of bill  = CBF

A little later In the "Canal Zone" I picked up another Cyornis, this time a male, which showed well, if rather briefly, and displayed a narrow finger of red stretching up to the bill-base, confirming it as another Chinese Blue Flycatcher.

In between these two sightings I checked a fruiting tree which held a Thick-billed Green Pigeon - a species that is known to be a winter wanderer to the lower Central Plains from its forest habitats elsewhere in Thailand. Given that the bird shows no suspicious signs of wear I presume that it is a genuine vagrant.

Common migrants/winterers included 5+ Brown Flys, 10+ Taiga Flys two Yellow-browed Warblers, 10+ Black-naped Orioles, three Black-capped Kingfishers and two Thick-billed Warblers.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Inner gulf of Thailand

Waders at Pak Thale included one Spoon-billed Sandpiper. We also saw a flock of 52 Nordmann's Greenshanks with perhaps 300 Great Knot about 1km north of the Royal Project. The pools on the main road in this area were really loaded with birds today.

After lunch we went to Nong Plah Lai raptor watchpoint and were rewarded with c. 6 Greater Spotted Eagles, 1 Pied and 3 Eastern Marsh Harriers and 20+ Black Kites.

Above & below: 1cy Pied Harrier

Friday, December 2, 2011


A short visit to Suan Rot Fai before work produced two interesting birds, but alas only one turned out to be a patch tick (which brings my patch list to 110).  Bird of the day was a Watercock seen rather briefly at very close range (I came over the brow of a stream bank and the bird froze, but then legged it when I reached to switch from bins to camera).  I saw it badly a couple more times, but it was very easily spooked.  My thinking is that this bird probably followed the flood waters into the city and has stuck around since the floods have receded (I'm just hoping I can soon find a Masked Finfoot that has done the same thing!).

The other interesting bird was a raptor, an juv accipiter-type that sat in a tree for 10 minutes at first light, allowing me to get some pictures of it to capture the birds heavy set bill, strong-looking legs, small crest...and jessies and leg iron! Before I noticed the damming evidence of escapism I had been leaning towards Grey-faced Buzzard (though the crest doesn't exactly fit with that), but now that I know it's a wire-hopper I guess it could be non-native. I need to re-visit Crested Goshawk ID, but in the meantime  any comments on the pictures below gratefully received! EDIT Posted this on BirdForum and it was quickly nailed as a Crested Goshawk.

Note slight crest

Appears to have a gular stripe
only two dark bars visible on tail; bill deep and heavy

More run-of the-mill offerings this morning included two Brown Shrikes, about seven Taiga Flycatchers, one Black-naped Monarch, a pair of Yellow Bitterns, a pair of Painted Storks low overhead, 15+ Blue-tailed Bee-eaters and a single Thick-billed Warbler.

Painted Storks