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Bird Sightings (January 2008)
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31/01/08 : At the paddies at Chiang Dao 15 Grey-headed Lapwings were present in the late afternoon of the 30th January. 2 Wire-tailed Swallows were seen on overhead wires and at least 3 Oriental Skylarks were in full song. Shortly before dusk, approximately 20 Chestnut-tailed Starlings were seen in the company of Mynas, gathering to roost at the same location.

On the morning of the 30th January, 4 Red-faced Liocichlas were viewed feeding on mown grass and a Giant Nuthatch was seen at Doi Ang Kang.

On 29th January a Scaly Thrush was seen well at the foot of a small wooden dam and 3 Red-faced Liocichlas were seen feeding on rice at a spirit house close to an army checkpoint; 2 Buff-throated Warblers were also in the same area, as was a single Oriental Turtle Dove.

The above sightings from Doi Ang Kang and Chiang Dao were made by Nick Upton et al.*

28/01/08 : A brief visit to the Mekong on the 27th revealed 6 River Lapwings, hundreds of Small Pratincoles, 30-40 Spot-billed Ducks and 48 Spotted Redshank. Two Pallas's Gulls were found resting on sandbars and another was seen being chased by a second winter Heuglin's Gull at the Golden Triangle.

A distant group of ducks on Chiang Saen Lake on the 26th January contained 8 Tufted Ducks, 1 male and 1 female Ferruginous Pochard, 1 male and 11 female Northern Shoveler, 1 male Wigeon, 23 Spot-billed Ducks and 3 female Falcated Ducks which very helpfully stretched their wings out to reveal wide black and white wing bars. A group of 30 Common Coot were also seen. With high water levels remaining, the only wader seen on Chiang Saen lake was a single Green Sandpiper.

At Yonok Wetlands the River Tern was giving excellent views and was observed catching a fish on the 26th January. Also at Yonok on the same date were a lineatus Black Kite (Black-eared Kite), both Bronze-winged and Pheasant-tailed Jacanas, Ruddy-breasted and White-browed Crakes as well as an immature Osprey. A fantastic display was enjoyed by a large group of birdwatchers at Yonok Wetlands when at least 200 harriers came in to roost (both Eastern Marsh and Pied), although Grass Owl failed to appear, possibly due to the inconsiderate level of noise shown by some birdwatchers.

On both the 25th and 26th January 2 or 3 White-browed Crakes were easily seen in lillies opposite Viang Yonok hotel, on Chiang Saen lake.

On the 24th January a Green Magpie foraging with White-crested and Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrushes was seen over a period of 5 minutes attacking the nest of a large, dormouse/vole-like rodent which vigorously, and successfully, defended its spherical nest built in bamboo.

Also at Nam Nao, on the 23rd January, a party of 3 Bar-backed Partridges very obligingly gave excellent views at close range on the nature trail at Nam Nao national park. At least 4 Blossom-headed Parakeets were observed briefly on a number of occasions in pine woodland at Nam Nao on the same date and good numbers of Woodpeckers included 4 common species: Grey-headed, Grey-capped Pygmy, Greater Flameback and Lesser Yellownape.

The above sightings from Nam Nao, Chiang Saen, Yonok Wetlands and the River Mekong were made by Nick Upton et al.*

21/01/08 : The 21st of January provided a sighting of Blue Pitta and the briefest of glimpses of Coral-billed Ground Cuckoo at Pa Gluai Mai campsite, Khao Yai along with a female Wedge-tailed Pigeon. Along the trail from Pa Gluai Mai to Haew Suwat a Sulphur-breasted Warbler was seen well by 4 observers.

On 19th January a male Chinese Blue Flycatcher was seen about 1 kilometre uphill from Bang Krang campsite at Kaeng Krachan and Hainan Blue Flycatcher was at the campsite, behind the small shelter. 2 Black-thighed Falconets were also seen on the road in to the national park.

On the 17th January the sand spit at Laem Pak Bia held 5 Pallas's Gulls of varying plumage stages and 2 Heuglin's Gulls. 4 Indian Nightjars were seen after dark at the King's Project area at Laem Pak Bia.

The above sightings from Laem Pak Bia/Pak Thale, Kaeng Krachan and Khao Yai were made by Nick Upton et al.*

*Nick Upton et al. - Pamela Piombino, Carol & Glenn Cushman, Linda & Jean-Pierre Georges.

On the 14th January 9 Spoon-billed Sandpipers were counted in a group together at Pak Thale, they were also in the company of a single Dunlin. A Chinese Egret was observed on the mudflats next to the sand spit at Laem Pak Bia and a Pallas's Gull reaching breeding plumage was present with 2 winter plumage birds and 3 Heuglin's Gulls. A male Pied Harrier was also seen in farmland near Petchaburi.

The above observations from Laem Pak Bia/Pak Thale were made by Nick Upton and Len Worthington.

08/01/08 : Over the weekend of 5-6th January a number of exciting sightings were made in the Laem Pak Bia/Pak Thale area with 5 Spoon-billed Sandpipers, "a couple" of Nordmann's Greenshank, 2 Black-faced Spoonbills, Dunlin, "100s" of Great Knot and 7 Pallas's Gulls as well as a Chinese Egret. 2 Common Shelduck were also reported from the region - Phil Round.

On the 6th January as many as 8 Baer's Pochard were seen a distance along with Shoveler, Tufted Duck and Ferruginous Duck, but most exciting was the presence of 2 Long-tailed Ducks - another first for Thailand but this time good quality photos were obtained . Also in the Chiang Saen region the River Tern was still to be found.

The above sightings were provided by Dave Sargeant, Mick Davies and Dowroong Danlamajak.

The latest set of records from BCST is now available with a number of interesting sightings. Amongst the most impressive is another first for Thailand - a Black-necked Grebe at Bung Boraphet, present since the 25th Decmeber 2007. At least one and possibly two Great Crested Grebes were present at the same location from 21-22nd December 2007 and 2 Common Shelducks from 17-20th.

Unprecedented, at least for modern times, numbers of Himalayan Griffon Vultures have been recorded from Doi Lang.

Other good sightings included 4 Chestnut Thrushes and 2 Grey-winged Blackbirds at Doi Lang in December.

A sighting of Wooly-necked Stork at Khao Ang Ru Nai was excellent, proving that they still survive there.

The full BCST recent sightings can be seen on the Bird Conservation Society of Thailand's website.

05/01/08 : A Buff-bellied Pipit was reported from Chiang Dao paddies on 30th December 2007 but no evidence to support this was provided, evidence which is surely required for such a difficult and notable species. - Oscar Campbell and Jules Bos, from the birdwatching logbook at Malee's Nature Lovers' Resort.

Numerous visits to Chiang Dao paddies in December revealed maximums of 42 Grey-headed Lapwings, 10 Oriental Skylarks and 3-5 Wire-tailed Swallows on most visits.

Other late records for December included 2 Oriental Turtle Doves, 16 Wedge-tailed Pigeons, 1 Eye-browed Thrush, 1 Rufous-bellied Niltava, 4-6 Giant Nuthatches, as many as 20 Buff-throated Warblers, 20 Grey-headed Parrotbills, 14 Spot-winged Grosbeaks and a pair of Hume's Pheasants all at Den Ya Kat, Doi Chiang Dao on the 16th December 2007.

Notable records from the lower parts of Doi Chiang Dao included Oriental Bay Owl on the 14th December 2007, up to 16 Pin-tailed Green Pigeon in fruiting trees near the forest temple between the 22nd-28thDecember 2007, 3-5 Eye-browed Thrushes from 24th - 26th December and a couple of White-tailed Robins: a male at the temple gully on the 23rd December and a female on the nature trail on 27th December.

The above sightings from Doi Chiang Dao were kindly submitted by Neil Lawton.

04/01/08 : A male Greater Painted Snipe was seen at Mae Hia on the 4th January. - Stijn De Win.

Some sightings from last month included 5 Chestnut Thrushes at the summit marsh, 2 Dark-sided Thrushes at Mr Daeng's and a Slaty-bellied Tesia on the jeep track, all at Doi Inthanon between 28th and 30th December.

At Mae Hia on the 28th December a Burmese Shrike was found and 5 Grey-headed Lapwings were present at Chiang Dao rice paddies on the 26th.

Between 22nd and 24th December at Doi Ang Kang a female Mrs Hume's Pheasant and a Chestnut-headed Tesia were seen at Km 21. On the 22nd December a pair of Jerdon's Bushchats and 2 Siberian Rubythroats were seen at the water towers near Thaton.

The above sightings from Thaton, Doi Ang Kang, Doi Chiang Dao and Doi Inthanon were kindly submitted by John Furse.

03/01/08 : Some interesting sightings from Putthamonton Park, near Bangkok included a pair of Asian Emerald Cuckoos, 1 Small Minivet, 1 Ashy Minivet and a Greater Racket-tailed Drongo on 3rd January. - Mike Allen.

02/01/08 : A River Tern was seen at the Mekong on the 1st and 2nd January. Other notable birds were 3 Black Kites, Eurasian Sparrowhawk and 12 River Lapwings. On the 1st 3 Pallas's Gulls and a Heuglin's Gull were present.

The above sightings from Chiang Saen were kindly supplied by Mick Davies and Dowroong Danlamajak.

A visit to Muang Boran Fishponds on the 1st January revealed a long list of the usual species, most notable being Pheasant-tailed Jacana, White-browed Crake and Striated Grassbird. - Esther & J.K. Martinez.

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