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Suan Phuttamonton (Phuttamonton Park)
(Updated 14/07/13)
 Introduction
Suan Phuttamonton (Phuttamonton Park) is a very large park just outside Bangkok in 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, attracting a number of birds. Apart from birdwatching, this is a good place to have a picnic in a quiet corner of the park and it would be most enjoyable to cycle around.

The migratory periods of September-October and April-May 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.

The only downside of Phuttamonton park is its distance from Bangkok's city centre.
 
Buddha Statue at Phuttamonton Park
(Photo by Nick Upton)
 Birding Highlights
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.

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, Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Crow-billed Drongo and Pale-legged Leaf Warbler. 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.
 
Male Small Minivet
(Photo by Johan Svensson)
  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
Phuttamonton Park
The most convenient way of getting to Phuttamonton Park, as ever, is with ones own vehicle; in fact without a vehicle birding around this vast park will be extremely 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 250-300 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 park is unlikely to be understood by taxi drivers, so try speaking in Thai; Suan Phuttamonton (pronounced Soo-Wun Put-a-Mon-Ton) or print the Thai script and show the driver: Suan Phuttamonton Thai Script.

However, it is 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 town 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 Waterbird Lake Overgrown Area 2 Overgrown Area 1 Bamboo Overgrown Area 3
There are a few places where certain species are likely to be seen in Phuttamonton Park;

Greater Racket-tailed Drongo
(Photo by Peter Ericsson)
  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 undergrwoth here. Resident species include Asian Barred Owlet, Green-billed Malkoha, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, Red-billed Blue Magpie and Lineated Barbet but on migration anything can turn up here and in autumn it is particularly good for Pale-legged Leaf Warbler.
Bamboo: An area of bamboo groves and open woodland is excellent for passage migrants such as Yellow-rumped Flycatcher and Leaf Warblers due to the high density of mosquitos. In the past Ferruginous Flycatcher, Hainan Blue Flycatcher, Mugimaki Flycatcher, Pale-legged Leaf Warbler and Asian 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.
 


Taiga Flycatcher
(Photo by Peter Ericsson)

 Facilities

Restaurant, Phuttamonton Park
(Photo by Nick Upton)
  Although Phuttamonton Park is in Nakorn Pathom province, it is easily visited from Bangkok which obviously has an abundance of hotels:Bangkok Hotel Reservations. If for any reason one gets stuck in this area there are no doubt a few hotels in the surroundings; failing that just pull up a park bench and sleep with the tramps!

The park is huge and many areas are quite some distance from the few facilites available so it is a good idea to come armed with cold water and some snacks to consume while birding in the heat. However, a variety of snacks, drinks and simple meals can be purchased at the restaurant which is close to the main entrance.

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 in the park is a monastic library and a museum of Buddhism.

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
  • 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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