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Suan Phuttamonton (Phuttamonton Park)
(Updated 24/10/17)
 Introduction
Suan Phuttamonton (Phuttamonton Park) is a very large park just outside the Bangkok city boundary in neighbouring Nakorn Pathom province, a few kilometres west of Bangkok's southern bus terminal.

Much of the park consists of open woodland with mown grass underneath the canopy, with pools, flower beds and gardens, although there are a few areas where the ground layer is uncut and insect diversity is fairly high, and it is these areas that attract the highest number of birds. Apart from birdwatching, this is a good place to have a picnic in a quiet corner of the park and it cycling is very popular here, particularly at weekends.

The migratory periods of September-October and March-April usually turn up the most interesting species in Phuttamonton Park; a good number of species have been recorded here, and of course there are healthy populations of the more common parkland and open-country birds here too as well as a few less common ones.

The only downside of Phuttamonton park is its distance from Bangkok's city centre and it is very tiring walking around the large area in the hot weather.
 
Buddha Statue at Phuttamonton Park
(Photo by Nick Upton)
 Birding Highlights

Spotted Owlet
(Photo by Nick Upton)
  Phuttamonton Park has a good number of common resident birds and is a good place for photographers to get pictures of species such as Indian Roller, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, Coppersmith Barbet and Lineated Barbet, all of which are plentiful and easy to spot.

This park has a resident population of Small Minivets which are usually quite confiding, making this one of the easiest places to find this bird close to Bangkok. Red-billed Blue Magpie can be found in the more wooded areas and on the un-manicured islands in the lakes there are small colonies of Black-crowned Night Herons, Little Egrets, Cattle Egrets and a few Little Cormorants. Red-wattled Lapwings are very common breeding birds and it is nice to watch them with their young in April to June.

However, in migratory periods, particularly autumn, the scruffy corners of Phuttamonton Park play host to a number of interesting passage migrants including Ferruginous Flycatcher, Siberian Blue Robin, Amur Paradise Flycatcher, Crow-billed Drongo and various Leaf Warblers. In fact for the keen and vigilant almost anything could turn up on passage.
A checklist for the birds of this location can be found here - Suan Phuttamonton.
  Bird Watching Trips:
If you need help organizing a bird watching trip to Thailand, take a look at the suggested itineraries for ideas on creating a tailor-made trip and contact me for advice: Thailand bird tours.
 Travel Information
Use the interactive map below to plan your journey to Phuttamonton park. The blue line shows the route from Silom Road in central Bangkok (Blue Pin) to the park (Red Pin).
The most convenient way of getting to Phuttamonton Park, as ever, is with one's own vehicle; in fact without a vehicle birding around this vast park is be very tiring. From central Bangkok one should drive towards the Grand Palace and cross the Chao Praya river just north of the palace on the Pin Klao bridge. Follow the main road heading towards Nakorn Pathom and ascend the elevated highway. Continue on this road and follow and eventually one begins to see blue signs for Phuttamonton Park. However, at the turning for the park the signs vanish; one will see signs which indicate Salaya to the north (right) and Pet Kasem Higway to the south (left). Take the left and Suan Phuttamonton is on the right a few hundred metres further down.

For those without their own transport taking a taxi would be the most comfortable way to get to Phuttamonton, from downtown it probably costs somewhere in the region of 300-400 baht but it might be worth hiring the taxi for the morning so that you can be driven around the park in comfort and get out when you see a likely birding spot. Phuttamonton is likely to be understood by taxi drivers, they all know the area, but they will then probably ask you which bit. This is because a number of large roads in the area are called Phuttamonton 1, 2, 3 etc. So try saying the name of the park in Thai; Suan Phuttamonton (pronounced Soo-Wun Put-a-Mon-Ton) or print the Thai script and show the driver: Suan Phuttamonton Thai Script. You could also just show them the location on a map on your phone.

However, it is also possible to get to the park by bus. From the southwest corner of Victory Monument (there is a skytrain station there) there are two air-conditioned buses, numbers 539 and 547 which go to Phuttamonton Park, taking about 50 minutes to get there.

Do not be tempted to take a motorcycle taxi from the city centre to Phuttamonton. The distance, traffic and lunacy of motorcycle taxi drivers means that you will almost certainly have a bad accident.

Taking a bicycle with you to the park would be a great idea and would be a really good way to go birding here.
 Finding Birds
A good number of species have been recorded in Phuttamonton park but it is in migratory periods, in Spring and Autumn, that one is most likely to have a memorable birding experience with passage Flycatchers, Leaf Warblers and Shrikes turning up during these times.

Phuttamonton is a huge park but most of it is highly manicured and low in bird diversity. Look out for the less cultivated areas where undergrowth has not been cut back and insect diversity is high. In migratory periods passage migrants are abundant around bamboo which harbours large numbers of aggressive mosquitos.
Unmown Lawn Overgrown Area 3 Waterbird Lake Overgrown Area 2 Overgrown Area 1 Bamboo Gardens
There are a few places where certain species are likely to be seen in Phuttamonton Park;

Asian Brown Flycatcher
 
Black Baza

Coppersmith Barbet
 
Yellow-rumped Flycatcher
(Photos by Nick Upton)
  Unmown Lawn: Not quite unmown but certainly very irregularly mown and as such it attracts resident Paddyfield Pipits and wintering Richard's Pipits and Yellow Wagtails.

Waterbird Lake: Of all the lakes and pools at Phuttamonton Park this one has the most overgrown surroundings and plays host to a small colony of Black-crowned Night Herons. Small numbers of Little Cormorants can always be found here along with Cattle Egrets, Little Egrets and Pond Herons. On a couple of occasions I have seen a pair of Lesser Whistling Ducks here although the habitat is not exactly ideal for them.

Overgrown Area 1: A small patch of trees where the undergrowth is not cut back always seems to produce some birds including Spotted Owlet, Drongos, Black-naped Oriole, Lineated Barbet, Coppersmith Barbet with Flycatchers and Warblers on passage.

Overgrown Area 2: This is by far the most overgrown and unkempt part of the park and it is worth sneaking around in the undergrowth here. Resident species include Asian Barred Owlet, Green-billed Malkoha, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, Red-billed Blue Magpie and Lineated Barbet but on migration this can be a hotspot for birds.
Small, skulking migrant species such as Siberian Blue Robin, Alstom's Warbler and Radde's Warbler can sometimes be found in the low undergrwoth in this area in March-April and September-October while migrants including Ashy Drongo, Asian Brown Flycatcher, Yellow-rumped Flycatcher, Ashy Minivet, Taiga Flycatcher and Blue-tailed Bee-eater can be numerous as times.

Indian Roller
 
Eastern Crowned Warbler

Taiga Flycatcher
 
Malaysian Pied Fantail
(Photos by Nick Upton)
Bamboo Gardens: An area of bamboo groves and open woodland is excellent for passage migrants such as Yellow-rumped Flycatcher and a variety of Leaf Warblers due to the high density of mosquitos. In the past Ferruginous Flycatcher, Hainan Blue Flycatcher, Mugimaki Flycatcher, Pale-legged & Sakhalin Leaf Warblers and Amur Paradise Flycatcher have been seen here.

Plenty of resident species can be found here including the ever-present Oriental Magpie Robin, Racket-tailed Treepie, Green-billed Malkoha, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, Common Iora and Small Minivet.

Overgrown Area 3: This area has some small, twisted tress with long grass underneath; an area which is relatively rich in insect life and consequently it attracts a few birds. On passage migration Asian Brown Flycatcher, Eastern Crowned Warbler and Arctic Warbler can be seen and winter visitors include Yellow-browed Warbler, Brown Shrike and Taiga Flycatcher. A few other common species occur here including Mynas, Common Iora, Spotted Dove, Coppersmith Barbet, Olive-backed Sunbird, Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker and Oriental Magpie Robin.
 Facilities
Although Phuttamonton Park is in Nakorn Pathom province, it is easily visited from Bangkok which obviously has a huge abundance of hotels. However, if you need somewhere to stay nearby that is good value for money you can try The September Salaya, or if you are visiting the nearby campus of Mahidol University they have their own hotel: Salaya Pavillion Hotel. Failing that just pull up a park bench and sleep with the tramps!

Restaurant, Phuttamonton Park
(Photo by Nick Upton)
 

The park is huge and many of the best birding spots are quite some distance from the few facilites available (and the entrance) so it is a good idea to come armed with plenty of cold water and some snacks to consume while birding in the hot and humid conditions. However, a variety of snacks, drinks and simple meals can be purchased at the restaurant which is close to the main entrance and there are a few other places dotted around the park here and there too.

There are a number of clean public toilets dotted around the park and for those who enjoy massed aerobics, anyone can join in the sessions in the early morning near the giant standing Buddha which is apparently the largest in the world. Also within the park is a monastic library and a museum of Buddhism as part of the National Buddhism Centre.

The park is open every day from 5.30am until 7pm.

The main road in front of the park is always quite busy and it never takes long to flag down a passing taxi for the journey home. There is also a pedestrian bridge if you need to cross this busy and dangerous road on foot.

There is no charge to enter the park.
 Some Useful Books
Birds of Thailand by Craig Robson Birds of Southeast Asia by Craig Robson
 Other Related Pages
Birdwatching Day Tours/Guiding

Other Central Thailand Birding Locations

The Birds of the Bangkok Area

My Sunbirds in Bangkok
 Photo Galleries

Butterfly

Butterfly


Lillies


Bizarre Tree

Temple & Lake

Bamboo Gardens

Lake

Ornamental Gardens

Ornamental Gardens

Parkland Road
 Related Blog Entries
  • Migrant-hunting at Phuttamonthon - posted on 24/10/17
  • Migrants in Bangkok's Parks - posted on 08/04/14
  • Autumn Migration & Phuttamonton Park - posted 25/09/08
  • Yellow-vented Bulbul - posted 14/09/08
  • Olive-backed Sunbird - posted 14/06/08
  • Phuttamonton Park - posted 22/04/08
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