Monday, October 13, 2014

Sunday: Pratincole patching

The first time I came to Bangkok was in June 1999.  After the long flight we checked into the Amari hotel by Don Muang Airport, because back in those days you could get a day room for GBP 12  and we had quite a few hours to kill before catching a train to northern Thailand.  One on my clearest memories was swimming in the open air pool at the Amari and having an Oriental Pratincole fly low overhead - as a British birder experiencing SE Asia for the first time this was a brilliant moment!

With this experience so soon after arriving in Bangkok, it has puzzled me over the last six years of watching Suan Rot Fai that I've never seen Oriental Pratincoles there.  After all, they are highly migratory and the park is on the same. side of the city as Don Muang Airport (though admittedly much further into the inner city.

Today I managed to put a big fat tick next to Oriental Pratincole when I found a migrating flock of about 20 birds feeding at some altitude over the Park.   I was actually looking skywards for raptors (or Needletails!) but these were a welcome, if somewhat over due alternative!

Oriental Pratincoles

With this patch tick secured early on, and no commitments for the rest of the morning I was able to give the southern sector of the part a pretty comprehensive survey, and came away with good selection of migrants as a result.  The best of the bunch was a Dark-sided Flycatcher actively feeding in the Canal Zone.  There were many more Taiga Flycatchers present this monring compared with yesterday, with approximately 15-20 birds encountered and these outnumbered Asian Brown Flycatchers by a ratio of approximately 2:1.  Phylloscs were represented by three Eastern Crowned Warblers, three Pale-legged/Sakhalin Leaf Warblers, five Arctic Warblers and four Yellow-browed Warblers. Only three Brown Shrikes were encountered, but I was surprised to hear a couple Ashy Minivets calling in different parts of the Park (I've only seen them on spring passage in the past).

Dark-sided Flycatcher

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