by Nick Upton
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New Checklist of Thai Birds from the Bird Conservation Society of Thailand (BCST)
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The BCST recently published a new (draft) version of the checklist for Thailand:

The checklist includes all new additions as well as taking into account a large number of taxonomic developments resulting in a number of "splits" and a few "lumps", all of which are explained in the accompanying notes:

Some of the most interesting developments, apart from recent additions to the Thai Checklist, I will breifly mention here:

Kalij Pheasant has been retained after genetic research.

Black-backed & Rufous-backed Kingfishers have been lumped (again) as Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher due to intermediate plumages and mixed pairs.

Greenish & Two-barred Warblers have been lumped (again).

Brown Hornbill has been split into Rusty-cheeked Hornbill (Anorrhinus tickelli) and Brown Hornbill (Anorrhinus austeni) based on genetic differences.

Hodgson's Hawk Cucko has been split into Hodgson's Hawk Cuckoo (Hierococcyx nisicolor) and Malayan Hawk Cuckoo (Hierococcyx fugax).

White-tailed Leaf Warbler has been split into Kloss's Leaf Warbler and Davison's Leaf Warbler.

Scaly Thrush has been split into Scaly Thrush and White's Thrush.

Deignan's Babbler has been retained pending further investigation. I observed a group of Rufous-fronted/Deignan's Babbler at Den Ya Kat, Doi Chiang Dao in February 2008 and having been a sceptic as to the taxonomic stauts of Deignan's Babbler, I noticed that there were easily recognisable plumage and bill differences between these birds and most other Rufous-fronted Babblers.

White-faced Plover remains lumped with Kentish Plover but it is expected that it will be split at a later date.

It is stated in the accompanying notes that this recently issued checklist is only a draft and there are expected to be a large number of changes in the not too distant future. Please go to the BCST's website and take a look at both the checklist and the accompanying notes.

Nick Upton, 18th March 2008.

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