and Cambodia 17th October – 3rd November 2008
This year my partner Matt and I planned a holiday around a diving
event which Matt often attends called Diving for Life; a week long
fund-raising diving get together/holiday for various gay and lesbian
dive groups from around the world. This year’s was held on
Phi Phi Island (Ko Phi Phi)
and we organised the rest of the trip around this. I wanted go birding
in some mainland forest in southern Thailand so I joined DfL part
way through the week. We also visited Cambodia with friends, then
Bangkok before flying back to Sydney. Overall the cost was ok, largely
because we had paid for DfL when the dollar was almost at its peak,
and also because I changed my Aussie dollars for USD and Baht when
the dollar started to drop, knowing that I had to pay for much in
cash. I saw 231 species overall, with 102 of these being lifers
(underlined below), and heard a further 20 more.
17/10: Fly from Sydney to Krabi via Bangkok, overnight
at Maritime Resort, Krabi
18-19/10: Morning birding around resort and in
Krabi mangroves nearby. After lunch drive on to Khao Nor Chu Chi
(KNC) staying at Morakot Resort for 2 nights. Birding on trails
in reserve and around resort.
20/10: Morning birding at KNC, then depart to Krabi
staying at Maritime Resort; afternoon birding in grounds and nearby
21-24/10: Depart Maritime for Ao Nang thence ferry
to Ko Phi Phi, where staying at Phi Phi Cabana Hotel for next 4
nights. Birding on island trails, also boat trip to Ko Pida Nork.
25/10: Depart am to Phuket by ferry, transfer to
airport and fly on to Siem Reap via Bangkok, arrive in the evening;
five nights in Siem Reap at Royal Crown Hotel.
26/10: Visit Beng Melea, then late afternoon trip
to floating village of Chong Kneas off Tonle Sap.
27/10: Visit Angkor area, including Angkor Wat,
Ta Prohm and Banteay Kdei.
28/10: Day trip to Ang Trapaeng Thmor.
28/6: More Angkor temples with Ta Som, Preah Khan,
Preah Neak Pean, Angkor Thom, and Phnom Bakheng.
29/6: Fly to Bangkok; stay 4 nights at Silom Serene,
near Lumphini Park. Afternoon sightseeing.
30/6: Full day birding with Nick Upton at Bang
Pra, Muang Boran and finally ending up at the pier at Bang Poo.
1/11: Full day birding with Kamol Komolphalin from
Nature Trails at Khok Kham, Laem Pak Bia and nearby in Phetchaburi.
2/11: Sightseeing in Bangkok – pm birding
in Lumphini Park.
3/11: Early am birding in Lumphini Park and then
depart for home.
We visited at the end of the wet season. This meant daily showers,
often heavy, and at different times each day. One time I was on
a forest trail in torrential rain, but at other times I was either
just about to leave when the rain started, giving me the chance
to wait it out, or it ended up in a lighter shower which was ‘birdable’,
especially under the forest canopy.
was not the best time to bird in Cambodia, as was pointed out to
me before going. I had originally hoped to do three day trips from
Siem Reap; one to Ang Trapaeng Thmor, another to Prek Toal on Tonle
Sap and a third to the Florican grasslands at Kropong Thom. When
I enquired about these at the Sam Veasna Centre, I was told that
the Florican Grasslands trip would be out due to flooded roads and
grassland, and that the trip to Prek Toal would be doable but many
key species such as Greater and Lesser Adjutant, Milky Stork and
Spot-billed Pelican wouldn’t be there at the time due to water
levels being too high there and more available water elsewhere in
opted for the trip to Ang Trapeng Thmor; even though the breeding
Sarus Cranes wouldn’t be there until January, Lesser Adjutants
could pass though in November and I stood a good chance of seeing
the pelicans then too. Milky Stork was also a possibility since
a pair have bred here last season along with the more common and
similar Painted Storks. I also hoped to see the deciduous woodland
in the north of the site for birds which I would have otherwise
missed on the trip. It turns out I was probably a few weeks too
early for the adjutants and pelicans, and couldn’t pick out
the potential pair of Milky Storks among the others because we couldn’t
get close enough. The actual birding at ATT, whilst still great,
was limited to 2 sites along the main roads (“main road”
is a relative term), since all other tracks, including any that
went near deciduous woodland, were under water; when we did see
the storks and ibises in the north-eastern end of the reserve we
couldn’t get any closer for the same reason.
only scratched the surface of Cambodia, and I would really like
to return for a longer and more extensive trip later in the dry
season. I had read elsewhere that there is a paucity of birds in
rural Cambodia simply because people hunt them, however even if
there were fewer birds than in similar habitats of other countries,
I did see more from the car than I expected based on this preconception.
We did saw a boy with a slingshot at Beng Melea which was ominous.
Whilst there may be a relative paucity of birds in rural Cambodia,
the lack of development has mixed effects. On one hand, the infrastructure
is not as good as in neighbouring Thailand and it takes longer to
get anywhere and from this point of view birding is harder here.
Conversely, less development means less habitat loss (at least for
some wetland species) and some birds which are now effectively extinct
in central Thailand are found in Cambodia.
Guide: I used Craig
Robson’s (2005) Field Guide to the Birds of South East Asia.
There are no maps, but it does list various divisions of the regions
where the birds are present and its status for these. To exclude
a species from a division, you have to read through all the various
codes. The divisions used are fairly large (Cambodia is a single
division), so a species may have a range in an area which only represents
a small portion of that division. At least I had the book for long
enough before hand to get a good idea of what I would see in the
various places I visited, but this still didn’t help with
the last mentioned problem. A glance at Robson’s later guide
solely for Thailand (with maps, and reduced number of pictures and
species per plate) showed just how misleading a distribution list
in the South-east Asian guide can be. It was nevertheless very useful.
Upon Nick Upton’s advice, I bought a copy of Jelle Scharringa’s
Bird of Tropical Asia 3. This has calls of a large number of species
for the region; it has the capacity to make playlists up for various
areas, and to convert files for use on mp3 players. I applied the
patch update listed on the website to add new features, and it was
well worth it. With a list of 258 calls, I didn’t stand a
chance on getting to know even half, but I learnt enough calls to
realise what some species were when I heard them; unfortunately
this meant that I now have a bigger list of birds which I have heard
but not seen! In particular it helped with learning the calls of
some of the Phylloscopus warblers which aided in determining
which species these were on occasions when views themselves were
not necessarily diagnostic.
Nick Upton’s website is great, and has extensive information,
lists and maps – a great resource. The Sam Veasna Centre website
is worth a look if you are interested in visiting Cambodia.
Alone or with Others?: I took myself birding in some places
and used the assistance of others in other places, largely for reasons
of access and transport, and to maximise my time. I went on an organised
day trip to Ang Trapaeng Thmor, arranged through the Sam Veasna
Centre, and our guide was Mony. Mony was friendly, polite, good
on his bird ID’s and quite experienced for someone who has
only been doing it for a few years, and he clearly enjoys what he
does. He showed us what he could at the places we could access,
given various constraints caused by weather.
I spent one
day birding out of Bangkok with Nick Upton, who runs the thaibirding.com
website. He took me out for a big day at Bang Pra and Muang Boran,
ending up at Bang Poo when it was actually almost dark. Nick was
excellent; he knew what he was looking at and what he was looking
for, and where to see them. We crammed a lot of birding into the
one day and it was worth it.
I spent another
day with Kamol Komolphalin of Nature
Trails at Khok Kham, Laem Pak Bia and surrounds. Kamol was also
great, extensively experienced in the region and was also adaptable
to take me to search for target species. We did miss some of these
later in the day, but this was hardly his fault given that they
were variously rare, local or elusive, and I had already seen Spoon-billed
Sandpiper, White-faced Plover and Nordmann’s Greenshank so
the day was pretty fantastic. The seafood lunch was definitely a
highlight. Patcharee from Nature Trails, with whom I corresponded
to organise the trip and to get information on guided birding in
the south, was always polite and helpful. Birding with Nick and
Kamol offered different experiences, but I’d recommend both.
I had hoped to go with Yotin Meekaeow in KNC
to look for Gurney’s Pitta (and maybe some nocturnal birding),
but this just didn’t work out.
& identification problems
One particular problem was regarding identification of Yellow Wagtails
sensu lato. The official Thai list treats this as a single wide-ranging
species pending further data; races recorded include thunbergii
(although the affinity of these birds has been questioned), macronyx
and taivana, possibly also tshutschensis. Given
the overlap in appearance in younger birds, females and non-breeding
males, I couldn’t go identify any of the birds seen here or
elsewhere beyond ‘Yellow Wagtail’, and will treat this
as a non-tick, but it is likely that if treated as a split complex
I would probably have seen at least some which were not included
as Eastern Yellow Wagtail (which I have seen in Australia). Apparently
things become easier after January when adult males start to assume
breeding plumage again, but until that time it’s pretty much
anyone’s guess unless you’re very experienced.
bird which I saw quite well, but whose status is still technically
uncertain, was the bird which has come to be widely known in the
region as the ‘White-faced
was only fairly recently realised to differ from Kentish Plover.
According to Kennerley et.al.
(2008), this taxon is the same as the type of Charadrius
dealbatus of Swinhoe; this name was later mistakenly applied
to the more widespread East Asian population of Kentish Plover (C.
alexandrinus). The extent to which this differs genetically
form C. alexandrinus and other related taxa is currently
being investigated, and Kennerley et al (2008) note that
if this taxon, which they refer to as “Swinhoe’s
dealbatus” , is recognised as a full species,
then White-faced Plover should be kept as the English name. For
now I am following others and keeping this in as a tentative species.
One of the trickiest
ID problems was with Chinese Pond Heron and Javan Pond Heron. The
first is a winter migrant, and overlaps with the Javan Pond Heron
in most areas I visited, notably in Central Thailand and in Cambodia
where the latter is resident. These are essentially indistinguishable
when in non-breeding plumage. Even the key character mentioned in
Robson (2005), the duskier wing tips on Chinese Pond Heron, is apparently
unreliable (according to all my guides) as variation in this is
likely to be due to wear. On the basis of sheer numbers present,
I no doubt saw both species, but can you claim to see either if
you cannot distinguish the two? Nick Upton told me that Javan Pond
Heron is scarce in the south, and coupled with a tendency for Chinese
Pond Heron to prefer freshwater habitats and Javan to prefer saltwater,
I am quite certain that the bird seen at the Morakot (19/10) was
Chinese Pond Heron, almost certainly another single bird at the
water treatment works on Ko Phi Phi Don (24/10) was this species.
At other locations I would have seen both species although they
were indistinguishable. Pond herons moult before returning to their
breeding grounds; at such time they are easily distinguished. Indian
Pond Heron is also a slim chance in the south but is also indistinguishable
at the time of my visit.
A couple of
uncertainties in identification involved both possible Green Iora
and Orange-breasted Green Pigeon on Ko Phi Phi Don, but views were
not good enough to rule out similar species. Of course I also saw
birds which I had no hope of identifying from brief glimpses, quite
a few, but then that’s the same for all birding trips.
I stayed at the Maritime
Park & Spa Resort, which backs on to the mangroves
and the river, and is only about 1.5km north of town. After arriving
fairly late in an exhausted state, I woke up early the following
day (being 4 hours ahead), getting up at about 5:45am, keen to see
what was on offer. I could already hear the Great-eared Nightjars
calling from inside the room even though the doors were shut. All
I could see from the balcony at first was mist, but as the view
became lighter, and the mist lifted a little in patches, I eventually
saw at least five of these birds sailing harrier-like over the lake.
During the course of my stay there I walked around the grounds and
saw a number of good birds. A small track passed from the lawn to
the hotel pier on the river. A pair of Blue Whistling Thrush hopped
around here, and a Forest Wagtail quietly crossed the path one morning.
Further along I saw Brown-winged Kingfishers on the river, along
with the first Common Kingfisher of the trip, and a first winter
male Ashy Minivet appeared in the vegetation at the base of the
rock outcrop. Dusky Crag Martins circled around here, and Rufous-bellied
Swallows, a recent split from Striated Swallow, circled over the
lake along with Pacific Swallows. The first of many confusing pond
herons prowled around the edges of the lake. In the coconut plantation
adjacent to the mangroves I saw a pair of Common Flamebacks. White-rumped
Munias were flying to and from the central building; on my second
night here I had a room in this part of the hotel and these birds
were nesting on a neighbouring balcony in a Bougainvillea in the
planter box. More were doing the same on other balconies, but you
can’t really look into someone else’s balcony with a
pair of bins. On the edge of secondary growth near the driveway
I saw 3 Black-crested Bulbuls which was a pleasant surprise. Other
lifers seen here included my first Black-capped and White-throated
Kingfishers, Common Tailorbird, Asian Brown Flycatcher, Red-throated
Flycatcher and Streak-eared Bulbul.
an effort to catch up with more mangrove species, and as an alternative
to the river boat trip, I walked along the mangrove walkway. This
starts where the main road into town diverges from the river. From
here the track passes through mangroves, some areas more open than
others, and ends up at the base of the rock outcrop seen from the
Maritime. On my first visit I slowly walked back and forth doing
4 laps of the track, but it was very quiet, not a sign of the pitta,
I did see my first Arctic Warblers, the only Brown-streaked Flycatcher
for the trip, along with Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker and Ruby-cheeked
Sunbird. After returning from KNC I had originally planned to spend
my afternoon on a boat trip to the mudflats, but opted for a second
walk on the walkway. I finally saw Mangrove Pitta, in a fairly open
area and the part of the track closest to settlement, along with
Ashy Tailorbird, Dark-necked Tailorbird and Pale-legged Leaf Warbler
(along with more Arctic Warblers).
Nor Chu Chi
Often known to birders as simply KNC,
the correct name for this reserve is Khao Pra Bang Kram, and it
is home to the famous Gurney’s Pitta. This fact alone is a
drawcard, although I was also attracted to the thought of birding
here because it was a lowland evergreen rainforest site which was
not far from Phi Phi, was reasonably easy to access by public or
hired transport and had a network of trails. It has often been said
by others that KNC is difficult to bird, perhaps even one of the
most difficult places in southern Thailand. The trails within primary
forest pass through excellent examples of this vegetation, but as
such the canopy is high and the trails narrow, meaning that often
you are lucky to get a glimpse of a bird you may hear calling, and
often not many were calling. Bird waves, and accompanying quiet
periods in between, are a feature of tropical rainforest birding,
but here I encountered small waves at best. Often birds were unusually
quiet, especially in a build up to a storm, and there would be a
noticeable increase in bird calls immediately before the rain began.
I stayed at
the Morakot, which is only a few hundred metres down the road from
the main entry to the reserve and it’s famous hot springs
(known as the Emerald Pools). The small bungalows were compact but
offered a shower and a toilet, and the meals at the accompanying
restaurant were basic but good, and ridiculously cheap. I saw a
number of good birds at the Morakot during the course of my stay,
including Chinese Pond Heron (the only pond heron which I feel sure
was this species) Hairy-backed Bulbul, Stripe-throated Bulbul, Olive-winged
Bulbul, Thick-billed Spiderhunter and Pin-striped Tit Babbler. I
asked about Spotted Wood Owl since I had read that this was a regular
bird here, but was told that it only sometimes turns up if you play
the call (I had no speakers) so I didn’t really try to look.
I was surprised not to hear Brown Hawk Owl at night, and I didn’t
hear any nightjars or nocturnal bird calls, at least that I recognised,
so didn’t end up looking for them.
One of the women
who ran the Morakot gave me a trail map, but some tracks didn’t
appear to be there or had grown over and lost any markers they may
have had. Many of the trails are narrow and poorly marked, if at
all. In contrast to this, the H trail is big and obvious –
since it is now a road which carries motorbikes and even trucks
laden with oil palm fruit. Several side trails branched off, one
ended in regrowth around a fallen tree, one may have been one end
of the real N trail which was difficult to follow, and all the others
ended up in plantations (rubber or oil). These were nearly all relatively
small and isolated within forest except for what I think was the
M trail which just plain ended up in plantation, presumably on the
edge of the reserve. This all says a lot about encroachment and
the continuing danger it presents to this forest, to the wildlife
in general and to Gurney’s Pitta in particular
I saw some good
birds here, in particular in was a good place for babblers, but
diversity and abundance was generally lower than I had expected.
I spent an afternoon, a full day and a morning here. On the first
afternoon, I l walked down the road to bird the H trail and its
branches. Off the main road I saw a King (Blue-breasted) Quail flushed
from long Blady Grass (Imperata cylindrica), possibly by a dog.
Further along I had a good view of an Eyebrowed Thrush sitting in
mid-storey of the forest, and flying overhead at the junction with
the H trail, I saw a Blyth’s Hawk Eagle pass overhead. Humidity
was high and the storm was brewing, but the rain didn’t start
until about 4:45pm, and birds were generally quiet and laying low
until then. Along the H trail I had a brief view of Fluffy-backed
Tit-Babbler with its distinctive feathers on tit’s back erected.
Further along in undergrowth on what I guess was the M trail before
it went into plantation, I saw Asian Paradise Flycatcher and Chestnut-rumped
Babbler. Heading back to the H trail, which noticeably shrank, lost
its car tracks and became more of a bike trail, I saw a Green Iora
and a Black-and-Yellow Broadbill in a tree above the trail, just
before the rain became heavy. Other birds seen here included a few
Black-throated Babblers and a Large Wren Babbler. I stood under
a fallen tree with its vines offering some protection but after
a while the torrential rain kept pouring through and time was ticking
so I headed back, with the rain clearing at dusk.
The next day
I birded along the B trail. The undergrowth was very wet along the
narrow trail and even though tit didn’t rain my trousers were
almost as wet as the day before. I stayed on this trail for a few
hours but after the branch with the C track, any subsequent branches
were not marked so I wasn’t sure how far I went on this trail
or if I had actually wandered on to another trail. There were several
patches where the birds were calling but I generally found it hard
to see them, and in some cases as soon as I put the bins to my sweaty
face they immediately fogged anyway. Birds seen on this trail included
Chestnut-winged Babbler, Yellow-browed Warbler, Yellow-eared Spiderhunter,
and Ochraceous Bulbul. A depressing proportion of birds were heard
only, including Dark-throated Oriole, Black Magpie, Red-crowned
Barbet, Banded Pitta, Large Hawk Cuckoo, Banded Bay Cuckoo and Scaly-crowned
Babbler. I tried to follow the C trail from its (marked) beginning,
but this disappeared within 100m, and I saw no birds here. I walked
along the A trail, which is essentially a road, and managed to get
good views of a female Orange-headed Thrush and an immature Moustached
Babbler. I wanted to follow this through to the D trail, but after
the obvious major ‘end’ of the road, the rough track
continued for perhaps 50m or so and came up against a boardwalk,
which in part appears to have replaced the D trail, and the remainder
of D has also gone. This boardwalk passed through some interesting
open swamp forest and bare rocky areas, and I saw my only Grey Wagtail
for the trip here, whilst some House Swifts soared overhead, and
a Red-crowned Barbet called from somewhere in the canopy.
I returned to
the Morakot for lunch, and ended up sitting out the storm which
followed shortly afterwards. After the rain cleared I headed back
to the H trail and its branches. I stopped along the way at what
I thought may have been the E trail, but it disappeared after 150m
or so; a Drongo Cuckoo quietly perched above the trail just in from
the road making this diversion worth the while. On what I like to
think of as the ‘N’ trail, a narrow track which was
clearly used by a few bikes at some time, I heard Emerald Dove,
and saw a Fulvous-chested Flycatcher. Further along, on the H and
M trails, I saw more Black-throated Babblers, a Puff–throated
Babbler, a female Siberian Blue Robin and a pair of Yellow-breasted
Flowerpeckers; a single Green Broadbill was on another side trail.
I had intended
to spend the following morning on the U trail waiting for Gurney’s
Pitta. This is one of the better marked trails, but it seemed to
disappear at the first stream crossing. After a while I worked out
that the track must have passed down the stream bed for about 30m
or so before crossing. Shortly afterwards I passed what must have
been the last marker, and I think I passed into prime Gurney’s
Pitta territory, but I decided to better spend my time looking for
other birds on the H trail and nearby. I did see a Crested Serpent
Eagle and another Siberian Blue Robin on the U trail.
Up on the main
road near the junction with the H trail I hear a lot of birds just
another 50-100m up the road and stopped to check it out. A Black-bellied
Malkoha was moving through the top of a roadside tree, White-rumped
Shama was calling and several Chestnut-winged Babblers were chasing
each other through the undergrowth before exploding out on one side
of the road as the flew to the other and disappeared again. Back
down on the H trail near the ‘N’ junction I heard more
Banded Bay Cuckoo, and saw Asian Brown Flycatchers and a single
male Orange-bellied Flowerpecker. Further along the ‘N’
trail I came to a gap where a massive tree had fallen and there
was a bit of activity around here including both Arctic and Yellow-browed
warblers, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, Black-naped Monarch and
Yellow-vented Flowerpecker. Ruther along the H trail a small mixed
group was moving through and I added Bronzed Drongo, Black-naped
Oriole and Red-billed Malkoha, and nearby another group had Cream-vented
Bulbul and Little Spiderhunter among others. On the return walk
to the Morakot, near the main road entry to the pools, I saw a few
Oriental Honey Buzzards passing over in a southerly direction high
overhead. Back at the Morakot I counted another 27 more streaming
over in a southerly direction before I had to pack and leave. This
raptor migration was a definite highlight of the trip for me.
All accommodation is located on Ko Phi Phi Don, the largest and
only settled island in the group of several islands. There are a
few scattered settlements, and of course hotels are popping up all
over the place but in general, the largest part of development is
located on the isthmus between the eastern and western halves of
the island. To the east, the island rises up moderately steep in
some places, but to the west the other half of the island is impenetrable
(which is a pity, but probably a good thing because that’s
where it is mostly untouched). Phi Phi is known among birders for
the spectacle of masses of frigatebirds which gather near Ko Pida
Nork, but land birds of Ko Phi Phi Don get a very brief write up
if any on trip reports which I’ve read. Consequently I expected
all land birding to be incidental, but I was pleasantly surprised
with some major highlights from here. If you are staying for a few
days it is worth checking out the forest trails to see what is there.
I was confronted with a sheer mass of people. After staying in the
relative quiet of the Morakot, and even just outside of Krabi, hitting
the main ‘tourist village’ was a shock. Although this
had all been wiped out in the 2004 Tsunami, development is back
bigger and probably no better (?) than before.
On my first
afternoon, when I had joined up with my partner, I was convinced
to go out snorkelling with the group to which I was allotted (as
a non diver), even though I did want to explore. “Just have
a bird-free afternoon” Matt said. Grumbling, I made my way
out to the boat without bins but with snorkel and mask. And where
did we go? Ko Pida Nork (and Pida Nai) of course. Well, the snorkelling
was great, although at the second site (literally at Pida Nork itself)
my snorkelling buddy had problems within the first 5 minutes which
became a full-blown panic attack. I spent the next 20 minutes trying
to reassure him and holding my arms in the air to signal the boat
[“oh, just make the signal and the boat will come” –
yeah right] in surgy sea where there was nowhere to stand or rest.
Fortunately, when we did get back to the boat we spent 30 minutes
or more waiting for the divers, and this was when the frigatebirds
came closest – well this and when I was in the water trying
to get help, but at least I could look up now. We were out til 5pm
and the numbers suddenly built up. Even though I had no bins, I
managed to see quite a lot of the birds which built up to around
300 by the time we left. I didn’t even bother trying to identify
the bewildering mix of younger birds, but I did see quite a few
male Lesser Frigatebirds (as expected) along with some females,
and at least one female Christmas Island Frigatebird, which was
larger but there was quite a range in size even in the Lesser Frigatebirds.
I also had great views of a Brahminy Kite and a Peregrine Falcon
Given that I
was allocated a spot on the dive boats with my group as part of
the package, and could swap on to other groups’ boats (since
I was a snorkeler there was no hassle there), then it would seem
obvious that I should return on another trip with bins, but this
wasn’t to happen. I ended up spending more time on the trails
in the hinterland of the island and the more I explored the more
I wanted to go further. Also, I found out that on other afternoons
the frigatebirds weren’t seen; sure they were out there, but
a dive boat waiting by the dive site wasn’t going to chase
the frigatebirds even if they were a few km away. I also didn’t
go to Ko Phi Phi Leh, the second largest island in the group; I
missed a beautiful but very crowded spot, but on the day I would
have gone I saw my bird highlight of the south.
There is a network
of trails on the eastern half of the island. From a street near
the water treatment plant a trail climbed, via a seemingly never-ending
series of increasingly steep stairs, to three view points. After
the first viewpoint, the concrete path climbed through open coconut
plantation, where Plain-backed Sunbird, Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker
and Asian Brown Flycatcher were present, and a Peregrine Falcon
hunted overhead. At the second viewpoint, the concrete path ended
a shop/restaurant, but after asking I was shown where the path continued
on behind the building, where there was a network of foot tracks
through the forest, with some small houses and farms. I explored
some of these, some smaller and leading to individual hotels on
the far coast, others large, one surprisingly ended in a broad road
with cars (the only one on the island). The views from the top (third)
viewpoint were also great. Between the second and third viewpoint
on fringes of a farmed clearing I saw Black-naped Oriole, and in
patchy forest between here and the top I saw Eastern Crowned Warbler
and Asian Paradise Flycatcher. From the top viewpoint I saw a pair
of Treron sp. Pigeons, probably Orange-breasted Green Pigeon, especially
given the habitat, but the view was too distant to be certain. I
also saw a single Fork-tailed Swift from here. Greater Racket-tailed
Drongos were conspicuous in forest and edge habitat on these trails.
On a trail leading
to the Phi Phi Relax Beach Resort on the eastern coast, below the
top viewpoint, I saw perhaps the highlight of Phi Phi – an
adult Nicobar Pigeon which I had inadvertently flushed from the
side of the trail; it flew up into a nearby tree which by luck was
quite visible form the track and I got good if dim views of it for
a couple of minutes before it flew off into thicker forest. Further
down I managed to find my first Crow-billed Drongo of the trip,
at one point in the same field of view as a Greater Racket-tailed
I stumbled on a pair of medium sized (c. 45cm) raptors perched under
the canopy in a tree over a broad trail leading from the second
viewpoint. The first flew off without even my getting as much as
a glimpse, but the second bird had a crest, distinctively long broad
wings and relatively short tail and some barring on the light wings
along with a streaked throat, but I didn’t get a chance to
see the breast when it flew off under the canopy. My best fit was
a juvenile Jerdon’s Baza, although I thought this perhaps
unlikely. I am sure one of these was the same bird seen later near
the Nicobar Pigeon spot, again showing some of the same features.
It was perched in the outer canopy foliage before it flew off, but
this time I didn’t get as good a look. Both time the birds
exhibited typical baza like behaviour. Nick told me that a small
proportion of Jerdon’s Baza population is believed to be migratory,
and I have subsequently read this elsewhere. The bulk of such birds
are juveniles, which fits with those I saw.
Some other highlights
from Phi Phi were from the lowland areas, such as Vernal Hanging
Parrot, a pond heron in the water treatment plant (actually planted
out with water tolerant flowering plants) which was almost certainly
Chinese Pond Heron, and Pied Imperial Pigeons which were seen both
in the lowlands and in the hills, although generally in forest or
flying from one side of the island to the other. Streams of hundreds
of Black-nest Swiftlets flew from the eastern half of the island
in the morning and returned at dusk. Other birds seen in lowland
Phi Phi were seen elsewhere during the trip.
Reap and surrounds
four full days based in Siem Reap in Cambodia, of which one day
I spent on a trip to Ang Trapaeng Thmor. The other days were spent
sightseeing around the Angkor area, further afield at Beng Melea
and to the floating village of Chong Kneas, on an inlet off Tonle
Sap. The drive to Beng Melea gave us our first views of Cambodian
countryside, everywhere was wet and so green it almost hurt my eyes
to look. I saw my first White-vented Mynas on the trip to this less
popular and overgrown temple. Given that this was our first Angkorian
period temple, we were suitably impressed, and the overgrown feel
was a definite drawcard. Although the signs on the main trail into
the temple from the gate tells that the landmines have all been
cleared, our guide pointed out a hole from a recently detonated
mine only metres off a foot track through the outer courtyard; this
is warning enough for any birder to stay on any obvious track. Bird
highlights from the temple were Japanese Sparrowhawk, Ashy Drongo,
Hainan Blue Flycatcher and Black-headed Bulbul.
On the brief
trip from the jetty at Chong Kneas to the floating village (a variable
trip according to water levels – when the water is low the
village is considerably further into Tonle Sap), I saw a single
Oriental Darter, Whiskered Terns and an impressive flock of around
60 Eastern Jungle Crows.
Over the course
of two days, I visited eight temples (counting the massive Angkor
Thom complex as one, which contained several temples and buildings
inside its walls), but the others notched up another six while I
was birding at ATT. Of these, only Angkor Wat was visited at best
birding hours, but we were actually looking around the temple at
the best times for birds (also best time to see Angkor Wat). For
various reasons (mostly tiredness and difficulty of meeting up with
the others if we went at separate times), I didn’t make a
birding specific trip to one of these at dawn, but several would
be well worth it, notably Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom (huge with extensive
forest areas), Preah Khan (probably the best) and Ta Prohm, with
Banteay Kdei and Ta Som among the smaller temples.
From an aesthetic
viewpoint, each site was unique in its own way. Angkor Wat was certainly
beautiful, especially in the fine details, and impressive in its
vast size. The sunrise over Angkor Wat was good although equally
perhaps sunset would be better, when the light would be setting
on the front of the temple. The hordes of tourists who flock here
to see sunrise mostly depart back to hotels for breakfast, so between
about 6:30 to 9:30 this was relatively empty. Angkor Thom was vast,
containing the Bayon, the Baphuon, and several smaller temples,
along with the Elephant Terrace and Terrace of the Leper King. We
didn’t do this area justice, especially the Bayon which we
thought was the last of our temples (but our driver persuaded us
to visit Phnom Bakheng at the end of the day). Preah Khan was large,
beautiful, less crowded when we visited and interesting with its
mixed history of Buddhist and Hindu periods reflected in re-carved
images. Ta Prohm was a little bit of a let down from several points.
Billed as the famous “tomb raider” temple after being
used as a set for the film of that name, it’s jungle atmosphere
is actually one of large trees growing though the complex but with
much of the other growth removed – if you want jungle-overgrown
temples, go to Beng Melea. Unlike some others, the plan is flat,
and when we visited the sun was still high enough to shine down
into the maze of passages, which combined with the intermittent
canopy, raised the humidity. Also we must have visited at a very
popular time, because every corner we rounded we ran into another
tour group. Contradictory directional arrows in the temple complex
lead to some fun in finding our way out. Some of the smaller temples
which were much quieter had interesting features, were quieter and
still held forest in their grounds (notably Banteay Kdei and Ta
Given that pretty
much all birding was incidental (with the exception of one brief
walk out to the moat at various points in Angkor Wat) I still saw
quite a few birds. Red-breasted (at Ta Prohm, Preah Khan and Angkor
Thom) and Alexandrine Parakeets (Ta Prohm) were only seen around
Angkor, as were Grey-headed and Dark-sided Flycatcher (Preah Khan),
Hill Myna (Angkor Thom) and Greenish Warbler of the race plumbeitarsus,
previously split as Two-barred Warbler but now lumped again (Ta
Som). Blue Rock Thrush had eluded me elsewhere on my trip, but was
visible at a number of sites. Notable at Angkor Wat were large numbers
of Paddyfield Pipit among others such as Coppersmith and Lineated
Barbet, Ashy Drongos (both grey and dark races), Oriental Honey
Buzzard, Black-naped Oriole and Japanese Sparrowhawk. Other highlights
were Asian Paradise Flycatcher (Ta Som), Hainan Blue Flycatcher
(Preah Khan), Ruby-cheeked Sunbird (Preah Khan and Ta Som), Green-billed
Malkoha (Preah Khan) and Brown-backed Needletails (Preah Khan and
Phnom Bakheng where excellent views were had). One of my frustrating
birds of the trip, Asian Barred Owlet, was heard at Banteay Kdei
and Preah Khan but I just couldn’t locate them.
We hired a driver
among four of us, which turned out to be worthwhile since he had
a good idea of good places to visit and times to avoid crowds, although
this would probably have to be altered a little to slot in some
dawn birding. I subsequently also found out that the private toll
road, which passes Beng Melea on towards Koh Ker, traverses some
good deciduous woodland and this could have made a good birding
day with the two temples combined. We were just too tired the first
morning in Cambodia to contemplate anything too early. Considering
that the temples themselves were the main priority, a surprisingly
decent selection of birds were seen in the surrounds and the broad
trails mean that some canopy species are easier to see here than
on narrow trails in forest reserves elsewhere. A visit to Cambodia
ought to include a day or two around Angkor, and as such even if
birding isn’t the main objective, it is surprising what can
booked a day trip with the Sam Veasna Centre to visit this place;
the best of my three options for day trips at the time of year I
visited. We left at 5am for a slow trip (nearly four hours) to ATT;
although the National Highway No.6 is fixed/being fixed, the condition
of the road in the low-clearance minivan was pretty slow and bumpy,
particularly when we were stuck behind a truck with nowhere to overtake
for nearly half an hour. On the road out I saw many Cattle Egrets
flying from a nearby roost area, and roadside groups of Common and
White-vented Mynas, a pair of Collared Mynas, with a few House Sparrows
in one roadside town (the only ones of the trip) and the first Red
Collared Doves of the trip. Further out along the side road off
the highway, I saw my first Eastern Marsh Harrier, Siberian Stonechat,
along with Black-winged Kite, Wood Sandpiper, Common Kingfisher
and Brown Shrike to name a few. At the WCS office where we stopped
for breakfast, I saw Lesser Whistling Duck and Zebra Dove. A slow
start to the day but we arrived at the reservoir by 9:30am, where
we saw the only Black Kites and Sand Martin of the trip, along with
Striated Heron, Blue-tailed Bee-eater, more Lesser Whistling Ducks
and Spotted Dove among others. As the road diverged a little from
the reservoir edge, we passed through a mosaic of farmland and scrub,
where there were more Collared Mynas. Further along into the reserve
where the road passed into rice paddies, we stopped as we approached
flocks of storks on both sides of the road. Asian Openbill were
the more numerous with at least 40 present, either circling in the
sky, perched in trees or occasionally seen with their heads sticking
up over the rice; 25 or so Painted Storks were similarly present,
along with many Cattle Egrets, fewer Great Egrets and impressively,
at least 50 or more Black-headed Ibis, perhaps the highlight of
this site. Pond herons generally were present here and elsewhere
at ATT, with both Javan and Chinese Pond Herons most likely seen,
but were indistinguishable from each other. Unfortunately, due to
the high water levels we could neither get any closer nor visit
the deciduous woodland further along. A single female Comb Duck
flew over and a male Eastern Marsh Harrier patrolled the paddies
in the distance.
We headed back
and then out along the road bordering the south-western border of
the reservoir, stopping at a track which passed north-west, which
was still impassable after 30m or so. The surrounding shallow water
was covered in lotus and held small numbers of birds, including
Common Moorhen, Pheasant-tailed and Bronze-winged Jacana. Kingfishers
hunted from nearby perches, including Black-capped Kingfisher, White-throated
Kingfisher and a pair of Pied Kingfishers. Large numbers of Lesser
Whistling Duck took off and landed in the distance, and we had distant
views of a Grey-headed Fish Eagle. In the scrub were Purple Sunbird,
a Dusky Warbler, more Collared Mynas and Ashy Minivets, and Brown
Shrike and Paddyfield Pipit were in pastures on the other side from
the reservoir. The birding came to an abrupt halt before a late
lunch due to a thunderstorm, and we departed for Siem Reap after
lunch, stopping in at a silk weaving commune nearby. Roadside highlights
on the return journey were 2 small groups of White-shouldered Starlings
and a few Vinous-breasted Mynas. The trip was good, offering impressive
sights of large numbers of a few rarer waterbirds, but clearly would
have been better later when the key species would be present.
Pra itself is a reservoir/lake, with the surrounding area forming
the Bang Pra Non-hunting Area. The location has a range of habitats;
in addition to the lake itself, there are shore areas fringed with
reeds and rushes, a smaller but still sizeable pond (the ‘Egret
Lake’), woodland (dominated by what appeared to be Acacia
auriculiformis), and grassland habitats varying from long to
short, variously forming a mosaic with the woodland. On approach
we stopped on the road briefly near the entrance, with farmland
to the left and woodland to the right. A flock of White-crested
Laughingthrushes moved through the woodland canopy allowing excellent
views – better than any obtained later in the day. Rufous
Treepie also showed well, and over the nearby farmland, an Indian
Roller hawked for insects and a few Vinous-breasted Mynas passed
overhead and perched on the wires. We drove in, and no sooner than
parking the car the rain started, first as a light drizzle, then
heavier. That shower continued for about half an hour, hampering
our efforts to track down some birds in a patch of woodland; we
were especially looking for Laced Woodpecker, using playback in
hope of eliciting a response. No sooner than the rain abated then
the birds became a little more active. Black-naped Orioles and Red-throated
Flycatchers were particularly notable here. Drongos were also particularly
abundant with both Black Drongos in the grasslands and Ashy Drongos
(races leucogenys and mohouti) in the woodland
being the more abundant, but Greater Racket-tailed Drongo and Crow-billed
Drongos were also to be found.
We moved on
to some grassland closer to the shore of the reservoir, finding
a lot of activity near some short wet grass. Asian Pied and White-vented
Myna were active here, others included Siberian Stonechat, Plain
Prinia, Red-wattled Lapwing, Common and White-throated Kingfishers.
Scanning the lake edge showed some Whiskered Terns over the water,
and distant views of a single Osprey, and a single Grey-headed Lapwing
in flight. Further along in the same habitat we came across Australasian
and Indochinese Bushlarks, Zitting and Golden-headed Cisticola,
Oriental Reed Warbler and Green Bee-eater. In longer grass and reeds
nearby I saw both Oriental Reed Warbler and Thick-billed Warbler
in the same field of view, quite unusual given their different habitat
preferences; Plain Prinia and Grey-breasted Prinia climbed through
the tall grass in the same patch. We saw at first one then another
Black Baza passing from one Acacia tree to another, and shortly
afterwards a third appeared.
The rain started
after this, heavier and longer lasting than before and continued
for about an hour and a half, long enough to hinder our efforts.
During this time we saw a few more species in woodland and grassland,
such as Chinese Francolin, Ashy Woodswallow, Blue-tailed and Blue-throated
Bee-eaters, Lesser Coucal, more White-crested Laughingthrush, and
Racket-tailed Treepie, but generally birds were pretty quiet. By
the time the rain ended we had walked further through more woodland
and grassland, and returned to more or else the same area where
we were when it started up. At several places Nick tried to call
in the Laced Woodpecker using playback. When we returned to the
first woodland patch we had visited, an adult Laced Woodpecker finally
turned up very close to us in response to playback.
to a trail which passed around the Egret Lake and close to the marshy
edges of the main lake, we saw Black-crowned Night Heron, Little
Cormorant, Sooty-headed Bulbul and Baya Weaver around the Egret
Lake. Several Chestnut-capped Babblers called but remained hidden
in long growth on the main lake fringe, a Common Snipe flushed from
the reeds and two Brown-backed Needletails flew low over the water.
As we drove out from the reserve, we saw a tight flock of c. 50
Black Bazas circling nearby.
Boran & Bang Poo
drive to Muang Boran
there was little to add to our day’s list but notable mentions
were a single Common Kestrel perched on roadside wires, and several
flocks of Asian Openbills. We parked the car at Bang
Poo and caught a taxi to Muang Boran fishponds, getting dropped
off as far as the taxi could navigate in the narrow roads. This
is a large complex of ponds with water at varying levels. Many are
well vegetated on their fringes or in the water, but much clearing
had recently taken place in some areas. Nick said that there were
far fewer birds than normal, but I was still quite impressed with
the diversity and numbers even if I did miss a few regular species
such as Asian Golden Weaver and Cotton Pygmy Goose (damn that bird
– it has eluded me in a number of countries by now). It was
fairly muddy at times walking along tracks between the ponds but
most were ok. Yellow Bitterns were fairly common; I must have seen
at least 15 or so of these by the end of the day. A single female
Black Bittern and a male Cinnamon Bittern were found along with
the more common herons, which included Intermediate Egret (fairly
common at this site), Great Egret, Little Egret and the all too
confusing pond herons (both Chinese and Javan Pond Herons would
have been there although indistinguishable). Indian Cormorant was
present along with the more common Little Cormorant. White-browed
Crake was common and visible, but I dipped on Ruddy Crake which
is a migrant at that site and probably only just arriving; it is
also a much shyer bird.
A few ponds
had low water levels, which were good for waders. I saw Wood Sandpiper,
Common Sandpiper, Pacific Golden Plover, Pintail Snipe, Long-toed
Stint, Little Ringed Plover and Oriental Pratincole. Also in this
habitat were a number of Yellow Wagtails in a bewildering array
of plumages (treated as a broad species - see above under “Taxonomic
and identification problems” for further discussion). Other
waterbirds seen at Muang Boran included both Pheasant-tailed and
Bronze-winged Jacanas, Common Moorhen and Little Grebe. Warblers
were often heard in the reeds though were tricky to see, with some
only showing fleeting or passing views, such as Oriental Reed Warbler
and Pallas’s Grasshopper Warbler. We did get better looks
at Black-browed Reed Warbler and nice views of Striated Grassbird,
and by the far the most common small brown reed bird was Plain Prinia.
Both Paddyfield and Richard’s Pipit were here. Black Drongos
were plentiful, but one Ashy Drongo was present.
It was pretty
much sunset by the time we got back to the houses. To get back to
Bang Poo we had to first get a motorbike taxi to the main road,
since taxis wouldn’t come to pick up here. This was a little
hair-raising at times, especially since I was a little unbalanced
with the scope and tripod on my side to begin with, let alone when
the driver kept pulling out into oncoming traffic which included
a coach and some trucks. Despite the clear danger, I always find
that the motorbike taxi ride is a bit of a highlight of birding
in South-east Asia, but it’s no doubt enjoyed (if at all)
in small doses. It was very much dusk when we got back to Bang Poo,
so all we managed here was to walk out to the pier which is famous
for its large numbers of wintering Brown-headed Gulls. At a rough
estimate I reckon 400 or more of these birds were present, but it
was hard to say because on both sides of the pier, flocks were constantly
wheeling in a circle, with birds landing but others taking off.
On the up side this made looking for different gulls easier than
thought since nearly all birds seme to fly past at close range,
but we saw no other gulls here. It was a nice end to a fairly exhausting
but fulfilling day birding with an excellent guide.
Khok Kham was the first
stop on my day trip with Kamol Komolphalin from Nature Trails, and
we came here purely to look for Spoon-billed Sandpiper which had
been recently seen at the site. After a more leisurely 6am departure
we arrived at Khok Kham by 7am. We spent some time scoping out some
ponds which held literally thousands of Lesser Sand Plovers and
a scattering of other waders, but after some time of watching, creeping
up and then following the birds to another pond, Kamol then got
the call that the SBSP was at another pond not far down the road.
We headed out to the next pond, and it was pretty obvious where
the bird was by the fact that there were already four others staring
through scopes and bins (including Nick from the previous day, with
another client). We saw the single Spoon-billed Sandpiper wandering
behind a group of Red-necked Stints. We watched it for about 15
minutes or so before heading on to Laem Pak Bia. Other birds seen
at Khok Kham included Curlew Sandpiper (second most numerous wader),
Long-toed Stint, Marsh Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Common Sandpiper,
Kentish Plover, Whiskered Tern, Brown-headed Gull, Black-winged
Stilt, Brahminy Kite and Yellow Wagtail.
Pak Bia and Phetchaburi
drive from Laem Pak Bia,
many Ashy Woodswallows perched on power lines, and as we drove through
rural Phetchaburi district, Asian Openbill were flying over or feeding
in fields. We stopped for a very civilised morning tea at the fishing
village of Laem Pak Bia, before boarding a boat and heading out
to the sand spit. I’m guessing that the tide was fairly high,
because Kamol pointed out an emerging sandbank which at lower tides
would hold terns and possibly gulls. Both Whiskered and Common Terns
circled out further to sea, but no gulls could be seen. Even as
we approached the sand island which formed the end of the sandpit
we could see a couple of Malaysian Plovers. The island held at least
6 Malaysian Plovers together with four Kentish Plovers, but it was
hard to be exact with numbers since they kept flying back and forth
over the nearby narrow channel, or to the emerging sandbank. Upon
checking out some birds at the southern end we soon saw a single
bird away from the others which upon further investigation turned
out to be a White-faced Plover.
This bird was
fairly plainly coloured and possibly a non-breeding female. We saw
a second individual, more coloured than the first, on the emerging
sandbank, which may have been a first winter male; these are based
on information given in Kennedy
et.al. (2008), and in Bakewell and Kennerley (2008) where plumage
patterns are depicted in greater detail. Both birds showed the extensive
white lores typical for this taxon. Sanderlings foraged with the
plovers at times and further back down the spit were Common Greenshanks.
A Collared Kingfisher flew out of the mangroves on the inlet, along
with Common and Black-capped Kingfishers, Great Egret, Striated
Heron and the usual unidentifiable pond heron.
We stopped for
lunch at a beachside seafood restaurant for what was arguably (some
stiff competition) the best meal of my Thailand leg of the trip.
Crab, fresh fish, prawns and more; all spiced, flavoured and cooked
to perfection. After lunch we headed out to a site known for Black-faced
Spoonbill, seeing Indian Roller and Ashy Woodswallow en route. Listed
on Nick Upton’s page for Laem
Pak Bia as the “Abandoned Building”, this feature
is conspicuous and provided shelter for some Feral Pigeons, and
an accompanying juvenile Peregrine Falcon. We screened the ponds
looking for the spoonbill and larger waders. Grey Herons perched
on a bank, and at times these might be accompanied by the spoonbill
but not today. No sign of the spoonbill in fact, but we did see
a few more waders here including Lesser Sand Plover, Kentish Plover,
Little Ringed Plover, Marsh Sandpiper, Common Redshank, Red-necked
Stint and Long-toed Stint. About 40 Black-winged Stilts were scattered
around the ponds. Land birds included Paddyfield Pipit, another
Collared Kingfisher in a narrow fringe of mangrove, and a collection
of sturnids in scrub near the building which included Common, Asian
Pied and White-vented Mynas.
again we passed Laem Pak Bia and then pulled in to briefly investigate
the mangroves edges and ponds of the Kings Project, an area of natural
mangroves and settling pools as well as what appeared to be a mangrove
rehabilitation nursery where stock is possibly grown for planting
elsewhere. The target here was Slaty-breasted Rail, but we saw none,
no doubt due in part to being there in the heat of the day. You
can’t be everywhere just after dawn simultaneously. All birds
here had been seen at some time or other earlier in the trip, but
this was the only place other than at Bang Pra, where I saw Black-crowned
Night Heron and Common Snipe; others seen here included Pacific
Golden Plover, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Red-wattled Lapwing,
Little Cormorant and Barn Swallow.
From here we
headed out onto the road and back off again into some nearby fishponds,
in search of Nordmann’s Greenshank; this is the location listed
on Nick Upton’s web page for Laem
Pak Bia as ‘Good Ponds’. We soon located some larger
waders, including 25 or more greenshanks on a berm opposite to where
we were located. On inspection, one stood out as quite different
from the others and turned out to be Nordmann’s Greeshank,
mixed with the remainder of Common Greenshank. A nearby group of
5 birds was entirely composed of Nordmann’s Greenshank also.
Kamol said that we were lucky to get as close views as we had. This
site was good for a number of waders, with a couple of Black-tailed
Godwit, Bar-tailed Godwit, Great Knot (about 15 or so), Common Redshank,
Pacific Golden Plover and Grey Plover. Brown-headed Gulls wheeled
around over some further ponds, and closer to our car we saw a mixed
flock of Common and Whiskered Tern, and some Gull-billed Terns near
to these. Another highlight was seeing two Painted Storks wading
in a further pond. Other seen here included Black-capped and Collared
Kingfishers, Siberian Stonechat and Yellow Wagtail, and we heard
After here we
headed inland and visited a number of roadside stops in rural Phetchaburi,
with a mix of roadside scrub, plantation edge and rice paddies.
Kamol has recently seen some Purple-backed Starlings at the first
of these but we missed this bird although Pied, Common and White-vented
Mynas were around. We stopped at roadside thickets and Kamol used
playback to try to get a response from Siberian Rubythroat. We had
a couple call back; at one location we managed to get the bird to
respond repeatedly but it never emerged from the undergrowth. Thick-billed
Warbler and Black-browed Reed Warbler were similarly heard but not
seen, but we did get views of Oriental Reed Warbler. A pair of Pink-necked
Green Pigeons foraged in some trees on the edge of a plantation
and then obligingly perched on the power lines, along with the far
more numerous Red Collared Doves. Many of the birds seen here had
been seen elsewhere on the trip, although some I had only seen at
one other site, such as Green Bee-eater and Long-tailed Shrike.
Waterbirds were evident in the nearby rice paddies and highlights
of these included Pheasant-tailed Jacana, Bronze-winged Jacana,
Asian Openbill, Little Grebe and Intermediate Egret. We heard but
could not see a Purple Swamphen. A thunderstorm was brewing nearby,
and with the rising humidity and disappearing sunlight, birds were
getting unusually quiet early on, so we headed back. I had hoped
to see Plain-backed Sparrow, but at sites where we apparently have
seen dozens we saw none – just another reason to return to
itself seemed to be rather un-birdy, especially for us staying in
the high-rise business district of Silom. On a trip out to the Grand
Palace, nearby Wat Po, and the Golden Mount, I did see a number
of the more common species. Notable amongst these was Ashy Woodswallow
at the Grand Palace – the only site in Bangkok proper where
I observed this bird. Fortunately for me we stayed only blocks away
from Lumphini Park.
I visited here partially in the off-chance that I may see a Plain-backed
Sparrow (not resident but I guess it could pass through), but I
didn’t see any of these in two visits, first on a Sunday just
before sunset, then at 6am on a Monday morning.
was a strange experience. I thought that the park was filled at
the Sunday afternoon visit (which I expected) but I think it was
even busier on the Monday morning. If you were to rely on hearing
birds to detect them, I don’t know how you would do it. The
volume of the traffic even at dawn was loud in many places of the
park, and I think it was busier with people at 6am than at 8:30am.
Mass aerobic groups following instructors with loud speakers vied
with other competing groups only 100-200m away, so as you walked
along, the noise from one increased as soon as the other decreased.
Tai Chi would seem quieter, but still seemed to be accompanied by
loud, although serene, music. It was almost impossible to get to
a part of the park which I considered even moderately quiet. The
park was perhaps less busy when I left, but then it was also hotter
and the traffic noise was even worse. Nevertheless this park has
a selection of the more common birds and does pick up the odd migrant
passing through. I was just happy to go birding on my last days.
for this park would have to be Black-collared Stsrling, and this
was the only place in Thailand where I saw this bird. Coppersmith
Barbets, which were relatively common, were easier to see here than
at other locations visited. Others seen here included White-vented
Myna, Pied Myna, Black-naped Oriole, Indian Roller, Ashy Drongo
(appeared to be of the race salangensis), Yellow-vented
Bulbul, Red-throated Flycatcher, House Swift, Little Egret, and
Suvaranbhumi Airport is worthy of mentioning (infamous after the
blockade), since I saw a number of waterbirds from the plane as
we taxied on the tarmac, in particular I saw Asian Openbill, with
1 bird in grass on the edge of the airfield when I flew from Sydney,
and a flock of 17 circling nearby as we took off on our flight home.
list with notes
names and taxonomy is as used in the most recent official
Thai list (Nov 2008); brackets indicate alternate names used either
in Australia or widely elsewhere. Species preceded with a “(h)”
are heard only.
Chinese Francolin: Single female
in scrub flushed from track at Bang Pra (31/10).
2) Blue-breasted Quail: Single
bird flushed from Imperata grassland not far from road
(possibly by a dog?) in a young plantation off main road, KNC (18/10).
3) Lesser Whistling-Duck: Flocks
of between 10-30, totalling maybe 200 birds, at ATT and nearby (28/10).
4) Comb Duck: 1 female flew
over road at ATT (28/10).
5) Laced Woodpecker: 1 adult
in woodland at Bang Pra (31/10).
6) Common Flameback: Pair
in orchard at Maritime, Krabi (21/10).
7) Buff-rumped Woodpecker: 1
on H trail, KNC (20/10).
8) Lineated Barbet: Conspicuous
at many Angkor temples (27/10, 29/10), 2 birds seen at each Angor
Wat and Ta Prohm, otherwise only heard at Banteay Kdei, Preah Khan,
Neak Pean and Ta Som; 1 seen but more heard at Bang Pra (31/10).
(h) Red-crowned Barbet: Several
birds heard but unseen on B, D and ‘N’ trails, KNC (19-20/10)
(h) Red-throated Barbet: Heard
but not seen in forest off H trail, KNC (19/10).
9) Coppersmith Barbet: Conspicuous
in open areas and clearings at several sites. 1 seen at Maritime,
Krabi (18/10); 3 at Beng Melea (26/10); 3 at Angkor Wat and 2 at
Ta Prohm (27/10); seen at Ta Som (29/10); several in Lumphini Park,
where relatively common and easy to see (2-3/11).
10) Common Hoopoe: Single
bird and group of three in open woodland at Bang Pra (31/10).
11) Indian Roller: 2 at Angkor
Wat (27/10); 2 at Bang Pra (31/10); 1 roadside near Laem Pak Bia
(1/11); single birds in Lumphini Park (2-3/11).
12) Common Kingfisher: Moderately
common and widespread. 1 seen at the pier on the river at the Maritime
(20/10) and heard on mangrove walkway (18/10), Krabi; several birds
both at ATT and along roadside in scrub bordering rice paddies on
the drive nearby (28/10); 2 birds at each Bang Pra and Muang Boran
(31/10); 1 in mangroves on boat trip to Laem Pak Bia sand spit,
and 2 in roadside vegetation in Phetchaburi (1/11).
13) Brown-winged Kingfisher: 1
to 2 seen on river at Maritime, Krabi (18/10, 21/10) and heard on
mangrove walkway, Krabi (20/10).
14) White-throated Kingfisher: Widespread
and common. Seen at Maritime (18/10, 20/10); roadside near Morakot
(19/10); heard in open country bordering Beng Melea (26/10); seen
in scrub at western boundary of reservoir, ATT (28/10); several
at bang Pra (31/10); 1 roadside near Laem Pak Bia and 2 birds in
roadside vegetation in Phetchaburi (1/11).
15) Black-capped Kingfisher: Widespread
and common, most commonly recorded Kingfisher for the trip. Seen
at Maritime, and at mangrove walkway, Krabi (18/10, 21/10); 1 at
pond at Morakot (18/10); 1 in beachside tree outside hotel restaurant,
Koh Phi Phi Don (23/10); 1 on edge of moat at Angkor Wat (27/10);
several at ATT at scattered sites (28/10); 2 at Muang Boran (31/10);
1 in mangroves on boat trip to Laem Pak Bia sand spit, 1 in adjacent
stunted mangroves at nearby Nordmann’s GS ponds and 1 in roadside
vegetation in Phetchaburi (1/11).
16) Collared Kingfisher: 1
in mangroves at start of mangrove walkway, Krabi (18/10); 1 in mangroves
on boat trip to Laem Pak Bia sand spit, 1 in adjacent stunted mangroves
at nearby Nordmann’s GS ponds (1/11).
17) Pied Kingfisher: 2 birds
seen at western end of reservoir, ATT (28/10).
18) Green Bee-eater: 10+
in grassland at Bang Pra, often perched low down in grass and shrubs;
several on roadside power lines in Phetchaburi rural areas (1/11).
19) Blue-throated Bee-eater: 2
adults perched in dead tree, Bang Pra (31/10).
20) Blue-tailed Bee-eater: 3
flying over Angkor Wat (27/10); 2 in roadside scrub at ATT (28/10);
10+ in grassland and woodland edge at Bang Pra, and also seen at
Muang Boran (31/10); several flying over ponds at the spoonbill
site, near Laem Pak Bia (1/11).
(h) Large Hawk-Cuckoo: 1
frustratingly heard but unseen on B trail, KNC (19/10).
(h) Banded Bay Cuckoo: Individual
birds heard but not seen on B trail (19/10) and off H trail (20/10),
21) Plaintive Cuckoo: 1 adult seen in roadside scrub, on drive from
ATT to Highway No.6 (28/10).
22) Drongo Cuckoo: 1 perched
quietly on E track, KNC (19/10).
23) Asian Koel: Fairly common
in some areas, heard more than seen, as with Eastern (Australian)
Koel. 1 male at Maritime, Krabi (18/10); heard on H trail (18/10,
20/10) and B trail (19/10), KNC; relatively common on Ko Phi Phi
Don, mostly in forest, where single birds seen but more heard (23-24/10);
1 at Bang Pra but also heard at Muang Boran (31/10); 1 at Golden
Mount, Bangkok (2/11); seen at Lumphini Park (3/11).
24) Black-bellied Malkoha: 1
on main road near H track junction, KNC (20/10).
25) Green-billed Malkoha: Single
birds seen in forest at Preah Khan, Angkor (29/10), in open woodland
at Bang Pra (31/10), and in roadside scrub in Phetchaburi (1/11).
(h) Raffles’ Malkoha: heard on H trail, KNC (19/10).
26) Red-billed Malkoha: 1 moving through canopy on H trail, KNC
27) Greater Coucal: 1 adult
on edge of secondary growth near driveway, Maritime, Krabi (18/10);
heard in plantation on edge of forest on M trail, KNC (19/10); heard
(22/10) and then 1 seen (24/10) in forest edge off trails behind
viewpoint at Ko Phi Phi Don; heard at Angkor Wat (27/10); heard
at Preah Khan, Angkor (29/10); heard at Bang Pra (31/10); 1 adult
seen on edge of rice paddy, Phetchaburi back roads (1/11).
28) Lesser Coucal: Total
of four birds seen in grassland at Bang Pra (31/10).
29) Vernal Hanging-Parrot: Single
juvenile (22/10) and adult (24/10) near hotel on isthmus, Ko Phi
30) Alexandrine Parakeet: At
least 6 birds in mixed flock (c.30) with Red-breasted Parakeet at
Ta Prohm, Angkor (27/10).
31) Red-breasted Parakeet: At
least 10 birds in mixed flock (c.30) with Alexandrine Parakeet at
Ta Prohm, Angkor (27/10), many also at Preah Kahn and Angkor Thom
near Baphuon, Angkor, where pair seen at nest (29/10).
32) Black-nest Swiftlet: Large
numbers (hundreds?) of swiftlets seen on Ko Phi Phi Don (22-24/10)
most mornings flying from western end of the island and returning
at dusk – of those seen closely all appeared to be this sp,
with squarer tails and especially bulkier heads.
33) Pale-rumped (Germain’s) Swiftlet: Usually
occurring in singles to small flocks, recorded at Maritime, Krabi
(18/10, 20/10), over the H trail at KNC (20/10), at Bang Pra (31/10),
over rural land in Phetchaburi (1/11) and a few at Royal Palace,
34) Brown-backed Needletail: Few
at Preah Khan and several at Phnom Bakheng where seen well in the
late afternoon (29/10), and 2 flying over the reservoir at Bang
Pra (31/10). Needletails were also seen above the main road through
KNC (18/10) and above Siem Reap (26/10) and were most likely this
species although definitive identification was not possible at the
35) Asian Palm Swift:
Fairly widespread – few at Maritime,
Krabi (18/10); seen roadside on drive from Siem Reap to Beng Melea,
and also at floating village of Chong Kneas (26/10); recorded at
Angkor Wat (27/10) and further in the Angkor area at Banteay Kdei
(27/10) and at Neak Pean (29/10); at ATT (28/10); Bang Pra (31/10);
over rural land in Phetchaburi (1/11); and a few in Lumphini Park
36) Pacific (Fork-tailed) Swift: Single
bird seen well in flight from top viewpoint, Koh Phi Phi Don (24/10).
37) House Swift: Small flock
flying high over forest, D trail [boardwalk], KNC (19/10); flock
of c. 20 circling high over Muang Boran, towards dusk (31/10); flock
of c. 30 over Lumphini Park, around sunset and sunrise (2-3/11).
(h) Asian Barred Owlet: Frustratingly,
I heard this bird in a few locations but I was unable to find it
calling; heard at Morakot (20/10), Banteay Kdei (27/10), and Preah
38) Great Eared Nightjar: Conspicuous
initially by their call at dawn at the Maritime, Krabi (18/10),
I saw at least 5 of these birds hawking for insects in the grounds
from my balcony, especially flying over the ornamental lake with
their harrier-like flight. Totally absent on my second morning at
39) Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon): Less
widespread than expected - recorded on drive from ferry terminal
to airport, Phuket (25/10), near Bang Pra (31/10), around the abandoned
building at the spoonbill site, near Laem Pak Bia (1/11), in Bangkok
near the Royal Palace (2/11) and at Lumphini Park (2/11).
40) Spotted Dove: Recorded
at the Maritime, Krabi (18/10), on Ko Phi Phi Don (22-24/10), on
drive from Siem Reap to Beng Melea (26/10), in roadside scrub bordering
the reservoir at ATT (28/10), at Muang Boran (31/10), at King’s
Project, Laem Pak Bia (1/11) and in Bangkok in the district adjacent
to the Royal Palace (2/11).
41) Red Collared Dove: Mostly
recorded from the car whilst travelling to and from sites. 4 on
drive to ATT, but also a few at WCS office, ATT (28/10); seen nearby
to Bang Pra (31/10); 6 in low trees near the abandoned building,
spoonbill site, Laem Pak Bia, and also many on roadside power lines
in nearby rural Phetchaburi (1/11); 1 bird flying overhead at Lumphini
(h) Emerald Dove: Heard but
unseen on the “N” trail, KNC (19/10).
42) Zebra Dove: 2 in rural
land on outskirts of Angkor area (27/10); 2 at WCS office, 2 in
scrub near reservoir and 3 in scrub at western boundary of reservoir,
ATT (28/10); at Bang Pra and at Muang Boran, where feeding on ground
in several places (31/10); seen in scrub bordering rice paddies
and plantations, Phetchaburi (1/11).
43) Nicobar Pigeon: A definite
trip highlight! A single bird flushed from the trackside in forest
with a moderately open understorey on trail to Phi Phi Relax Beach
resort, below top viewpoint on eastern slopes of Ko Phi Phi Don
(24/10). The bird obligingly perched in a relatively open view for
about 2 minutes before flying into much thicker forest on the other
side of the track.
44) Pink-necked (-Green) Pigeon: A
pair in roadside regrowth and adjacent coconut plantation perched
openly on wires at one point, Phetchaburi (1/11). A pair of birds
seen on Koh Phi Phi Don from the top viewpoint may have been this
species or Orange-breasted Pigeon – they appeared to be the
latter but the views were too distant to confirm the identity.
45) Pied Imperial Pigeon: Seen
most days on Koh Phi Phi Don (21-24/10), usually in 2’s or
3’s foraging in forest, even at lower levels near the main
town, at one point a single bird was perched on the roof of the
hotel, and a flock of c. 20 birds was seen flying over to the western
half of the island at dusk, presumably to roost.
46) White-breasted Waterhen: 1
on edges of main lake or on lotus pond, Maritime, Krabi (18/10,
21/10); 1 at Bang Pra (31/10); 1 on roadside edge of rice paddy,
47) White-browed Crake: Only
seen at Muang Boran (10+ birds), where fairly conspicuous and less
shy than anticipated (31/10).
(h) Purple Swamphen: A single
bird was heard but unseen in rice paddy, Phetchaburi (1/11). It
is always so disturbing to find this bird (species or super-species)
so shy in other countries whereas they are so conspicuous and approachable
48) Common Moorhen: Few at
western end of reservoir, ATT (28/10); c. 15, including juveniles,
at Muang Boran (31/10).
49) Pintail Snipe: 2 on mudflats
of fish ponds, Muang Boran (31/10).
50) Common Snipe: 1 at Bang
Pra (31/10), and 2 at King’s Project, Laem Pak Bia (1/11).
51) Black-tailed Godwit: a
couple at the Nordmann’s GS ponds, Laem Pak Bia (1/11).
52) Bar-tailed Godwit: A
single bird flying out over the ocean on the trip from Ao Nang to
Ko Phi Phi Don (21/10), and 7 at the Nordmann’s GS ponds,
Laem Pak Bia (1/11).
53) Common Sandpiper: Fairly
widespread with 1 or 2, occasionally small groups (e.g. on river
at Krabi), seen on river at mangrove walkway (18/10, 20/10) and
at Maritime (20/10), Krabi, on shore at Ko Phi Phi Don (22/10),
on mudflats at Muang Boran (31/10), at Khok Kham and in ponds at
the King’s Project, Laem Pak Bia (1/11).
54) Common Greenshank: 1
at Khok Kham, 5 on shore near sand spit at Laem Pak Bia, 1 at King’s
Project and around 20 at nearby Nordmann’s GS ponds (1/11).
55) Nordmann’s Greenshank: 6
birds seen well with relatively close views, at the Nordmann’s
GS ponds, Laem Pak Bia (1/11).
56) Marsh Sandpiper: 6 at
Khok Kham and 5 on fish ponds at the Spoonbill site, Laem Pak Bia
57) Wood Sandpiper: 1 seen
in roadside ditch on edge of paddy, on drive to ATT (28/10); c.5
on shallow ponds at Muang Boran (31/10); a couple at King’s
Project, Laem Pak Bia (1/11).
58) Common Redshank: 1 on
shallow pond at Spoonbill site and 3 at Nordmann’s ponds,
near Laem Pak Bia (1/11).
59) Great Knot: At least
15 birds at Nordmann’s ponds, Laem Pak Bia (1/11).
60) Sanderling: 5 on sand
island and emerging sand spit at Laem Pak Bia (1/11).
61) Rufous-necked (Red-necked-) Stint: c.10
on mud at Muang Boran (31/10); c.100 at Khok Kham, and c. 10 at
Spoonbill site, Laem Pak Bia (1/11).
62) Long-toed Stint: 3 on
mud at Muang Boran, with Rufous-necked Stint (31/10); 3 at Khok
Kham, 1 at King’s Project and 4 at Spoonbill site, Laem Pak
63) Curlew Sandpiper: around
500 at Khok Kham (1/11).
64) Spoon-billed Sandpiper: 1 seen well at Khok
65) Pheasant-tailed Jacana: Several
in shallow water with lotus in western end of reservoir, ATT (28/10);
c.8 at Muang Boran (31/10); 7 in paddies in Phetchaburi (1/11).
66) Bronze-winged Jacana: Several,
in shallow water with lotus in western end of reservoir, ATT (28/10);
5 at Muang Boran (31/10); 2 in paddies in Phetchaburi (1/11).
67) Black-winged Stilt: Quite
common at Bang Pra and also seen at Muang Boran (31/10); 10 at Khok
Kham, easily 40 or more at both the spoonbill site and Nordmann’s
GS ponds, and c. 10 in ponds at the Kings Project (1/11).
68) Pacific Golden Plover: 1
on mudflats at Muang Boran (31/10); 5 in shallow pool at the King’s
Project and 5 at Nordmann’s GS ponds, Laem Pak Bia (1/11).
69) Grey Plover: Several
at Nordmann’s ponds, Laem Pak Bia (1/11).
70) Little Ringed Plover: 15+
at Muang Boran on mudflats (31/10); 3 at ponds at spoonbill site,
Laem Pak Bia (1/11).
71) Kentish Plover: 2 at
Khok Kham, 3 on sand island and emerging sand spit, and 10+ at Spoonbill
site, Laem Pak Bia (1/11).
72) Malaysian Plover: 4 on
sand island and emerging sand spit at Laem Pak Bia (1/11).
73) “White-faced Plover”:
2 on sand island and emerging sand spit at Laem Pak Bia (1/11).
Birds were different in plumage. One bird was slightly more coloured
than the other, and may have been a first winter male, whereas the
plainer coloured bird may have been a non-breeding female, based
on information given in Kennerley et.al. (2008) and Blakewell
and Kennerley (2008).
74) Lesser Sand Plover: c.1000
Khok Kham and c. 30 at spoonbill site, Laem Pak Bia (1/11).
75) Grey-headed Lapwing: Single
bird seen in flight over lake edge at Bang Pra (31/10).
76) Red-wattled Lapwing: 10+
on short damp grassland at Bang Pra (31/10); few at King’s
Project, Laem Pak Bia (1/11).
77) Oriental Pratincole: 4
at Bang Pra, and 10+ at Muang Boran (31/10).
78) Gull-billed Tern: 5 birds
in non-breeding plumage at Nordmann’s ponds, Laem Pak Bia
79) Whiskered Tern: c. 30
birds at floating village of Chong Kneas (26/10); several over ponds
at ATT (28/10); several at Bang Pra, and c. 50 at Muang Boran (31/10);
20 at Khok Kham (1/11); mixed flock, with Common Terns off Laem
Pak Bia sand spit, also at Kings project, and c. 10 mixed with Common
Terns at Nordmann’s GS ponds, Laem Pak Bia (1/11).
80) Common Tern: flock off
Laem Pak Bia sand spit, mixed with Whiskered Terns, and also 25+
at nearby Nordmann’s ponds (1/11).
81) Lesser Crested Tern: a
few seen on the boat trip from Ao Nang to Ko Phi Phi Don (21/10).
82) Great Crested (Crested) Tern:
A single bird seen from ferry travelling from
Koh Phi Phi Don to Phuket (25/10).
83) Brown-headed Gull: Flock
of c. 400 flying around pier at Bang Poo (31/10); c. 200 on ponds
at Khok Kham, and c. 50 at Nordmann’s GS ponds (1/11).
84) Osprey: Single bird (distant
views) perched on lake edge at Bang Pra (31/10).
85) Jerdon’s Baza: 2
birds on trail c. 400m from second viewpoint on Ko Phi Phi Don (23/10)
- 1 seen too briefly, the other seen well enough to fit best with
juvenile Jerdon’s Baza, including crest, barred underwings,
striped throat, mottling to dark upper surface, broad long wings
and relatively short, broad tail; single bird seen again below top
viewpoint on track to Phi Phi Relax Beach Resort (24/10).
86) Black Baza: At first
2 birds, then another, on woodland edge at Bang Pra, then a flock
of 50, circling tightly, close by (31/10).
87) Oriental Honey-buzzard: At
least 30 birds streaming high overhead on migration, seen from Morakot
and nearby on main road through KNC (20/10); 1 each at Angkor Wat
(27/10) and nearby at Preah Khan (29/10).
88) Black-shouldered (Black-winged) Kite: 1
flying over paddies on drive to ATT (28/10); 1 flying over open
land on drive from Bang Pra to Muang Boran (31/10); 1 flying over
rice paddy, Phetchaburi.
89) Black Kite: 2 flying over reservoir at ATT (28/10).
90) Brahminy Kite: 1 on boat
trip from Ao Nang to Ko Phi Phi Don (21/10); 1 on Ko Pida Nork (21/10);
several (adults and immatures) seen daily at Ko Phi Phi Don (21-24/10);
1 adult at Muang Boran (1/11); 3 at Khok Kham (1/11).
91) White-bellied Sea Eagle: A
pair seen on Koh Phi Phi Don (22-23/10); 1 adult flying over Bang
Fish Eagle: Distant views of 1 at
western end of reservoir, ATT (28/10).
93) Crested Serpent Eagle: 1
on U trail, KNC (20/10).
94) Eastern Marsh Harrier: 1
female over rice paddy near ATT, and 1 male over rice paddy at ATT
(28/10); 1 immature bird over reservoir at Bang Pra.
1 in woodland at Bang Pra (31/10).
96) Japanese Sparrowhawk: Widespread
and common at the time, probably some being passage migrants as
well as winter visitors - seen at Beng Melea (26/10), Angkor Wat
(27/10), Preah Kahn (29/10), Bang Pra (31/10), and above Laem Pak
Bia village (1/11). Other inconclusive small accipiter sightings
(KNC, on drive through Phuket and outside Siem Reap) were probably
97) Blyth’s Hawk-Eagle: 1
passing over H trail, KNC (18/10).
98) Common Kestrel: Roadside
birds perched on wires on drive from Bang Pra to Muang Boran (31/10),
and near Phetchaburi (1/11).
99) Peregrine Falcon: 1 flying
over Koh Pida Nork (21/10) and 1 on Koh Phi Phi Don (22/10); 1 juvenile
bird at abandoned building, Spoonbill site (1/11).
Little Grebe: Common on ponds at
Muang Boran (31/10); 1 on pond, Phetchaburi (1/11).
101) Oriental Darter: Single
male near floating village of Chong Kneas (26/10).
102) Little Cormorant: 1
flying over floating village of Chong Kneas (26/10); c. 10 at Egret
Lake, Bang Pra, mostly perching in tree over lake, and c.30 at Muang
Boran, some of which were perched with the less-common Indian Cormorants,
(31/10); recorded at spoonbill site and King’s Project, Laem
Pak Bia (1/11).
103) Indian Cormorant: Several
birds (5) at Muang Boran, where mostly perched with more numerous
Little Cormorants but also flying over ponds (31/10).
104) Little Egret: Widespread,
but usually as singles and outnumbered by other egrets – recorded
at Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok (17/10), roadside near ATT (28/10);
at Bang Pra and Muang Boran (31/10); in rice paddy, Phetchaburi
(1/11), and at Lumphini Park (2-3/11).
105) Pacific Reef Egret: Single
bird near Ao Nang on trip to Koh Phi Phi Don (21/10), and single
birds seen on beach, Ko Phi Phi Don (22-23/10). All birds were dark
106) Grey Heron: 1 flying
over floating village of Chong Kneas (26/10); 1 in roadside rice
paddy on drive to ATT, and 1 in same at ATT (28/10); 2 flying over
reservoir at Bang Pra (31/10); 2 on edge of ponds at spoonbill site,
1 at King’s Project, Laem Pak Bia, and 2 in rice paddies,
Purple Heron: 2 at ATT (28/10); 1
at Bang Pra and 3 at Muang Boran (31/10); 1 in rice paddy, Phetchaburi
108) Great Egret: This bird
is the same taxon as occurring in Australia which is split here
as the Eastern Great Egret. Widespread, occurring as singles to
several birds - recorded at Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok (17/10),
on river at Maritime, Krabi (18/10), on drive to Phuket airport
(25/10), on drive to ATT and at ATT (28/10); Bang Pra and Muang
Boran (31/10); at inlet near sand spit, and at the Spoonbill site,
Laem Pak Bia (1/11).
109) Intermediate Egret: Patchily
distributed – seen in roadside paddies on drive to Beng Melea
(26/10), at Muang Boran where fairly common (31/10), and a flock
of c. 20 feeding on ground in recently harvested rice paddy, Phetchaburi
110) Eastern Cattle Egret: This
bird is the same taxon as occurring in Australia, where it is treated
as part of one wide-ranging taxon [Cattle Egret]. 1 flying over
river at Maritime, Krabi (18/10); in roadside paddies on drive to
Beng Melea (26/10); at Angkor Wat (27/10); large numbers flying
over Hwy No.6 at dawn, presumably from roost, on drive to ATT, and
also in rice paddies at ATT, perched in trees and also on ground
(28/10); c. 20 on damp grassland at Bang Pra (31/10); in rice paddies,
Chinese Pond Heron: Single
bird seen at the Morakot (19/10) was almost certainly this species,
and another single bird at the water treatment works on Ko Phi Phi
Don (24/10) was most likely this species too. A few birds were on
the lake at the Maritime, Krabi, and also at the nearby mangrove
walkway were more likely to be this but could have been either since
the locally rarer Javan Pond Heron has been recorded here. Pond
Herons generally were quite common, and were otherwise seen in rice
paddies on drive to Beng Melea and at the floating village of Chong
Kneas (26/10), on drive to and at ATT (28/10), Bang Pra and Muang
Boran (31/10), Khok Kham and in mangroves at Laem Pak Bia (1/11),
and at Lumphini Park (2-3/11).
112) Javan Pond Heron: See
above – bound to have been seen but overlaps with previous
species in all areas visited where this sp. occurs.
113) Little (Striated-) Heron: 1
on lake at Maritime, Krabi (18/10, 21/10); 1 on shore at Koh Phi
Phi Don (22/10); 1 on edge of reservoir at ATT (28/10); 1 in mangroves
at inlet, Laem Pak Bia (1/11); 1-2 at Lumphini Park (2-3/11).
114) Black-crowned Night Heron:
2 adults and 3 immatures at Egret Lake, Bang
Pra (31/10); 1 immature bird in mangroves, at Kings Project (1/11).
115) Yellow Bittern:
c.15 scattered throughout Muang Boran (31/10).
116) Cinnamon Bittern:
Single male flushed from near path at Muang Boran (31/10).
117) Black Bittern:
Single female flushed from near track at Muang Boran (31/10).
118) Black-headed Ibis:
Moderate numbers (50+) in flooded paddies at ATT, perched in trees,
in flight and also on ground (28/10).
119) Painted Stork:
c. 25 in flooded paddies at ATT, perched in trees, soaring in flight
and also on ground (28/10); 2 at Nordmann’s ponds, Laem Pak
120) Asian Openbill:
1 in grass on edge of airfield (17/10) and c. 17 circling over airfield
(3/11), Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok; c.40 in flooded paddies at
ATT, perched in trees, soaring in flight and also on ground (28/10);
many seen form car on drive from Bang Pra to Muang Boran (31/10)
and on drive to Laem Pak Bia (1/11); 2 in rice paddy, Phetchaburi
121) Lesser Frigatebird: A
few were seen on boat trip from Ao Nang to Ko Phi Phi Don (21/10),
and many males and a few females seen well in a flock of c. 300
frigate birds at Ko Pida Nork, Phi Phi (21/10). Since I didn’t
have bins I couldn’t make out many other birds.
122) Christmas Island Frigatebird:
One adult female seen well, may have been more of this sp, in large
flock (see above) but without bins was too hard to tell, Ko Pida
Nork, Phi Phi (21/10).
(h) Banded Pitta:
1 heard, 1 call only, on B trail, KNC (19/10).
123) Mangrove Pitta: One
bird seen well, even if a rear view, perched on Rhizophora prop
roots in mangroves, mangrove walkway, Krabi (20/10).
124) Black-and-yellow Broadbill:
Heard but unseen on B trail (19/10), heard (20/10) and 1 seen on
H trail (18/10), KNC.
125) Green Broadbill: 1
heard on B trail, and 1 young bird perched under canopy off side
trail off H trail (19/10), 1 heard off H trail (20/10).
(h) Golden-bellied Gerygone:
Heard but unseen in mangroves near Nordmann’s GS ponds, Laem
Pak Bia (1/11).
(h) Asian Fairy Bluebird: Heard
but unseen on M trail, KNC (18/10).
126) Brown Shrike: widespread
and common, with many observations, all of single birds; most birds
were race cristatus, but a few were lucionensis.
Seen at: the Maritime in Krabi; Morakot; Koh Phi Phi Don; at Angkor
Wat; on drive to ATT and at ATT; Bang Pra; Muang Boran; Phetchaburi;
and Lumphini Park.
127) Long-tailed Shrike:
2 in grassland at Bang Pra (31/10), and 1 in roadside scrub, Phetchaburi
(h) Black Magpie: Heard but unseen, B trail, KNC (19/10).
128) Rufous Treepie:
Small groups, c.8 total, in woodland at Bang Pra (31/10).
129) Racket-tailed Treepie:
7 in woodland at Bang Pra, as singles to a group of 4 (31/10); 1
heard in scrub bordering Nordmann’s ponds, Laem Pak Bia, and
several in scrub and on powerlines, Phetchaburi (1/11).
130) Large-billed Crow:
Widespread, seen mostly as singles to small flocks. Seen at Maritime,
Krabi (18/10, 20/10); Ko Phi Phi Don (22-24/10); floating village,
Tonle Sap, where a surprisingly large flock of c. 60 birds flew
over (26/10); heard at Angkor Wat (27/10); ATT (28/10); Bang Pra
and Muang Boran (31/10); near Royal Palace (2/11) and Lumphini Park
131) Ashy Woodswallow:
2 perched in dead branches in woodland at Bang Pra (31/10); many
seen on power lines on drive to Laem Pak Bia and several in same
situation, Phetchaburi (1/11); a few at Royal Palace, Bangkok (2/11).
(h) Dark-throated Oriole:
Several heard but unseen, B trail, KNC (19/10).
132) Black-naped Oriole: heard
in grounds of Maritime, Krabi (18/10); a few in canopy on H trail,
near edge with plantation (20/10); pair on edge of forest clearing,
Ko Phi Phi Don (23/10); 1 at Beng Melea (26/10); 7 at Angkor Wat
(27/10); flocks of 10+ at both Preah Khan and Angkor Thom (29/10);
10+ in woodland at Bang Pra (31/10) and several at Lumphini Park
where conspicuous (2-3/11).
133) Ashy Minivet: 1
first winter male in forest at base of rock outcrop near pier, Maritime,
Krabi (18/10); 2 at Angkor Wat (27/10); 4 in scrub at western end
of reservoir, ATT (28/10); 10+ in small groups in woodland at Bang
134) Pied Fantail:
Mangrove walkway, Krabi (20/10); in scrub at western end of reservoir,
ATT (28/10); Bang Pra and Muang Boran (31/10); heard at Khok Kham
(1/11); seen in roadside scrub bordering paddies, Phetchaburi (1/11);
at the Golden Mount, Bangkok (2/11); 1 at Lumphini Park (3/11).
135) Black Drongo:
Abundant in open habitats, but not recorded in the south. Seen in
open vegetation adjacent to Beng Melea, on drive to Beng Melea and
over vegetation near floating village of Chong Kneas (26/10); many
on drive to ATT (28/10); common at Bang Pra and Muang Boran (31/10);
common in rice paddies and adjacent scrub, Phetchaburi (1/11).
136) Ashy Drongo:
Fairly common in woodland and forest, with a mix of races present.
At a number of places I saw both dark (mohouti) and grey
races, but of the latter I do not know in some cases whether these
were salangensis or leucogenys, nor am I aware
of the relative abundance of these in parts of Thailand and Cambodia.
Grey birds at Bang Pra were identified by Nick Upton as being race
leucogenys, but one bird in Lumphini Park appeared to be
salangensis. 2 near driveway, Maritime, Krabi (20/10);
1 grey bird at Beng Melea (26/10); several individuals of both dark
and grey races at both Angkor Wat and Ta Prohm, and 1 at Banteay
Kdei (27/10); 10+ at Preah Khan, and single birds at Ta Som and
Angkor Thom (29/10); moderate numbers in woodland at Bang Pra, both
mohouti and leucogenys present, and a single bird
at Muang Boran (31/10); 1 grey bird at the Golden Mount, Bangkok
(2/11); 1 grey bird (salangensis?) at Lumphini Park (3/11).
137) Crow-billed Drongo: 1
in forest below top viewpoint, Ko Phi Phi Don, in same field of
view as greater Racket–tailed Drongo at one point (24/10);
2 in woodland at Bang Pra (31/10).
138) Bronzed Drongo:
1 in small mixed flock, H trail, KNC (20/10).
139) Greater Racket-tailed Drongo:
2 on ‘N’ trail and 2 on H trail, KNC (20/10); fairly
common in forest on trails at Ko Phi Phi Don (22-24/10); 2 at Angkor
Thom (29/10); 5 in woodland at Bang Pra (31/10).
140) Black-naped Monarch:
1 male on ‘N’ trail, KNC (20/10).
141) Asian Paradise-flycatcher: 1
female in forest on each M trail (18/10) and also on N trail (20/10),
KNC; 1 female in forest near top viewpoint at Ko Phi Phi Don (24/10);
1 male at Ta Som, (29/10).
142) Common Iora:
Single birds seen at Maritime, Krabi (18/10), in open area on edge
of H trail, KNC (20/10), in woodland at Bang Pra (31/10), in roadside
scrub adjacent to plantations and paddies, Phetchaburi (1/11) and
in Lumphini Park (3/11).
143) Green Iora: Single
male on H trail, KNC (18/10). A bird in forest adjacent to a cleared
patch on Ko Phi Phi Don appeared to be a female of this sp., with
greener colouring and pale yellow eye ring, but I couldn’t
see the wings, and given the edge habitat may have been Common Iora,
which I would be more likely to expect being here (although both
could be possible).
144) Blue Rock Thrush:
Single birds around temples in Angkor, with several at Angkor Wat
(27/10), 1 at Banteay Kdei (27/10), and a few at Bayon, Angkor Thom
145) Blue Whistling Thrush:
A very tame pair in grounds of Maritime, Krabi, around the track
to the pier (18/10, 20/10).
146) Orange-headed Thrush: 1
female off the side of the A trail, KNC (19/10).
147) Eyebrowed Thrush: 1
adult perched in forest mid-storey, off main road, KNC (19/10).
148) Fulvous-chested Flycatcher: 1
adult in undergrowth off ‘N’ trail, KNC (19/10).
149) Dark-sided Flycatcher: 1
adult at Preah Khan, Angkor (29/10).
150) Asian Brown Flycatcher: Common,
the most abundant Muscicapa flycatcher of the trip. Several
at Maritime (18/10, 21/10); 1-2 at Morakot (19-20/10); 2 on edge
of H trail, KNC (20/10); several on trails in forest at Koh Phi
Phi Don (22-24/10); 3 at Beng Melea (26/10) few each at Angkor Wat
and Ta Prohm (27/10); 1 in scrub at western edge of reservoir, ATT
(28/10); Preah Khan and Angkor Thom (29/10).
151) Brown-streaked Flycatcher:
1 in mangroves at mangrove walkway, Krabi (18/10).
152) Red-throated Flycatcher: 1
in nursery area, Maritime, Krabi (18/10); 2 at Beng Melea (26/10);
many at Bang Pra (31/10); 1 in Lumphini Park (3/11).
153) Hainan Blue Flycatcher:
2 males at Beng Melea (26/10) and 1 male at Preah Khan (29/10).
154) Grey-headed Flycatcher:
1 adult at Preah Khan, Angkor (29/10).
(h) Siberian Rubythroat:
At least one bird heard but unseen in roadside scrub bordering paddies
and plantations, Phetchaburi (1/11). The bird responded to tape
playback, but fell short of perching in the open, remaining frustratingly
155) Siberian Blue Robin: 1
female on H trail (19/10) and 1 immature male on U trail (20/10),
156) Oriental Magpie Robin:
1 at Maritime, Krabi (18/10); 2 in scrub near hotel (23/10) and
1 at water treatment works (24/10), Koh Phi Phi Don (24/10); 1 heard
at Preah Khan (29/10); 1 heard in grounds of beach-side restaurant,
near Laem Pak Bia (1/11); 1 at Golden Mount, Bangkok (2/11); 1 in
Lumphini Park (2-3/11).
(h) White-rumped Shama: Heard but unseen in forest off main road
near junction with H trail, KNC (20/10).
157) Eastern (Siberian-) Stonechat:
Locally abundant in suitable habitat, recorded in
paddies and adjacent scrub on drive to, and at, ATT (28/10); many
at Bang Pra, in damp grassland, reeds and sedges, and at Muang Boran
in reeds and fringing vegetation (31/10); few in vegetation fringing
ponds at Nordmann’s ponds, Laem Pak Bia, and many in paddies
and adjacent scrub, Phetchaburi (1/11).
158) Asian Glossy Starling: 3
adults and 1 immature perched on powerlines of main road going into
Krabi, between Maritime and mangrove walkway (18/10).
159) Hill Myna: 5
near Baphuon at Angkor Thom, Angkor (29/10).
160) White-vented Myna:
Generally more rural in habits than Common Myna, and less likely
to be found in cities. 4 in farmland on drive to Beng Melea (26/10);
flocks seen in rural land on drive to ATT, and in rural land and
scrub fringing the reservoir, ATT (28/10); flocks at Bang Pra and
at Muang Boran (31/10); Flocks present in scrub around the abandoned
building, spoonbill site, Lame Pak Bia, and also in rural Phetchaburi
(1/11); small groups in Lumphini Park (2-3/11).
161) Common Myna:
Abundant in any open habitats, including edges of woodland, scrub
fringing wetlands, and in lighter urban situations. Recorded at
Maritime, Morakot, Ko Phi Phi Don (around main town area), on drive
to Beng Melea, Angkor Wat, ATT and on drive to/from there, Bang
Pra, Muang Boran, spoonbill site (Laem Pak Bia), Phetchaburi, and
162) Vinous-breasted Myna (-Starling):
2 in roadside scrub on main highway (Hwy No6), c. 40km from Siem
Reap (28/10); 3 in farmland adjacent to Bang Pra (31/10).
163) Black-collared Myna (-Starling):
2 in rural land on drive to ATT, 2 in rural land adjacent to ATT
reservoir, and 2 in scrub and adjacent rural land, towards western
end of reservoir, ATT (28/10); 3 in Lumphini Park (2-3/11).
164) Asian Pied Myna (-Starling):
Moderately common at Bang Pra, but fewer birds than
Common or White-vented Mynas, and also seen at Muang Boran (31/10);
2 in scrub adjacent to abandoned building at spoonbill site, Laem
Pak Bia, and also seen in scrub bordering paddies and plantations,
Phetchaburi (1/11) - vast numbers, with hundreds together at times,
perched on power lines on roadside on drive back to Bangkok from
Phetchaburi at dusk; 2 in Lumphini Park (2-3/11).
165) White-shouldered Starling: Groups
of 2 and 3 in roadside bushes on drive from ATT to main highway,
and further along highway to Siem Reap (28/10).
166) Sand Martin:
1 flying over reservoir at ATT (28/10).
167) Dusky Crag Martin:
Small group seen flying in front of rocky crag at Maritime, Krabi
168) Barn Swallow:
Widespread and common, with gutturalis (white underparts) widespread
and tytleri (buff underparts) present at some sites visited from
Bangkok, although I did not think to note down which I saw where,
and the latter was far more outnumbered by the former. I mistook
immature Barn Swallows for Pacific Swallows at first glance on Phi
Phi, since Pacific Swallows were common there and didn’t think
to look too carefully (!). Seen in Krabi (on main road near mangrove
walkway), over main road on edge of KNC, on Koh Phi Phi Don, on
drive between ferry terminal and airport at Phuket, at Angkor Wat,
at ATT, Bang Pra where there were many, Muang Boran, at King’s
Project and spoonbill site at Laem Pak Bia, and Lumphini Park.
169) Pacific Swallow:
Common in coastal south, seen daily at Maritime and elsewhere in
Krabi, and daily on Ko Phi Phi Don.
170) Rufous-bellied Swallow:
Several seen well at Maritime, Krabi (18/10, 20-21/10). This is
a recent split from Striated Swallow.
171) Black-headed Bulbul:
3 at Beng Melea (26/10).
172) Black-crested Bulbul:
1 adult and 2 immatures perched in edge of secondary growth near
driveway, Maritime, Krabi (18/10).
173) Sooty-headed Bulbul: 3
in grassland at Bang Pra, and 2 at Muang Boran (31/10).
174) Stripe-throated Bulbul:
1 in garden of Morakot near pond (19/10); 3 in forest on trail behind
second viewpoint, Ko Phi Phi Don (24/10).
175) Yellow-vented Bulbul:
Few at Maritime, Krabi (18/10); 2 over vegetation near floating
village of Chong Kneas (26/10); common at Bang Pra and also seen
at Muang Boran (31/10); 2 in Lumphini Park (3/11).
176) Olive-winged Bulbul: 2
in secondary growth edge at Morakot (18/10).
177) Streak-eared Bulbul: The
common bulbul of the trip, being found almost everywhere. Seen at
Maritime (18/10, 20-21/10), off main road through KNC (18/10), at
Koh Phi Phi Don (22-24/10), outside hotel in Siem Reap (29/10),
at Muang Boran (31/10), in roadside scrub, Phetchaburi (1/11), at
Golden Mount in Bangkok (2/11) and at Lumphini Park (2-3/11) where
178) Cream-vented Bulbul: Few
on H trail, KNC (20/10).
(h) Spectacled Bulbul: Heard
but unseen on H trail, KNC (18/10).
179) Ochraceous Bulbul: Singles
in undergrowth on B trail and off A trail, KNC (19/10).
180) Hairy-backed Bulbul: Few
in grounds of Morakot (19/10); small groups on both H and M trails,
181) Zitting Cisticola:
1 in scrub and adjacent pasture bordering reservoir at ATT (28/10);
at least one in grass at Bang Pra (31/10).
182) Bright-capped (Bright-headed,
Golden-headed-) Cisticola: 1 seen and a couple more
heard only, in grass at Bang Pra (31/10).
183) Grey-breasted Prinia:
1 in rank grass at Bang Pra (31/10).
184) Yellow-bellied Prinia: 1
immature bird in marshy reed/sedge growth, Bang Pra (31/10).
185) Plain Prinia:
Few in long grass at Bang Pra (31/10); many at Muang Boran (1/11);
1 in roadside rice paddy, Phetchaburi (1/11).
186) Pallas’s Grasshopper Warbler:
Single bird seen in flight, Muang Boran (31/10).
187) Black-browed Reed Warbler:
1 in grass fringing ponds at Muang Boran, more heard but unseen
(31/10); 1 heard in rice paddy and fringing vegetation, Phetchaburi
188) Oriental Reed Warbler: 1
seen, in same field of view as Thick-billed Warbler, at Bang Pra,
more heard but unseen, and 1 seen, and more heard only, at Muang
Boran (31/10); 2 seen in roadside rice paddy, more heard but unseen,
Phetchaburi (1/11); Several uniformly largish dark Acrocephalus
warblers seen in rice paddies from the car whilst on the drive to
ATT were most likely this species but may have been something less
189) Thick-billed Warbler:
1 at Bang Pra, in same field of view as Oriental Reed Warbler –
unusual given habitat differences (31/10); heard but not seen in
scrub bordering cultivation, Phetchaburi (1/11).
190) Common Tailorbird: 1
seen in scrub bordering the maritime, Krabi (18/10); heard in scrub
bordering reservoir at ATT (28/10); heard at Bang Pra (31/10).
191) Dark-necked Tailorbird: 2
seen on mangrove walkway, Krabi (20/10); 3 in forest on trail N
of top viewpoint, Ko Phi Phi Don (23/10); heard in woodland at Bang
192) Ashy Tailorbird: Heard
(18/10) and 3 seen (20/10) at mangrove walkway, Krabi.
193) Dusky Warbler: 1
seen in scrub, western border of reservoir, ATT (28/10).
194) Yellow-browed Warbler:
1 in forest on B trail, (19/10), and 1 in forest on N trail (20/10),
195) Arctic Warbler: Most
commonly encountered Phylloscopus warbler for the trip.
Few on mangrove walkway (18/10, 20/10); 1 in grounds of Morakot
near pond (19/10); 1 in forest on N trail, KNC (20/10); 1 in woodland
at Bang Pra (31/10);
196) Greenish (Two-barred) Warbler:
1 seen and characteristic call heard at Ta Som, Angkor (29/10).
Distinctive race plumbeitarsus previously split as Two-barred Warbler,
now lumped again with Greenish Warbler.
197) Pale-legged Leaf Warbler:
1 seen in mangroves at walkway, Krabi (20/10); 1 heard in woodland
at Bang Pra (31/10).
198) Eastern Crowned Warbler: 2
individuals seen on trail near top viewpoint and near second viewpoint,
Ko Phi Phi Don (24/10).
199) Striated Grassbird:
Single bird and 2 together seen at Muang Boran (31/10).
200) White-crested Laughingthrush:
Groups of up to 5 birds seen twice in woodland at Bang Pra, probably
same group (31/10).
(h) Ferruginous Babbler: Heard
but not seen, in undergrowth off H trail, KNC (18/10).
201) Puff-throated Babbler: Individuals
heard, on main road through KNC (18/10), and at Morakot from plantation
across road (19/10), single bird seen on track, H trail (19/10).
202) Moustached Babbler:
Heard on B trail, single immature seen in undergrowth on A trail,
(h) Scaly-crowned Babbler:
Heard in undergrowth on B trail, KNC (19/10).
203) Large Wren-Babbler:
Single bird seen on H trail, KNC (19/10).
(h) Streaked Wren-Babbler:
Heard in undergrowth off H trail near road junction, KNC (19/10).
204) Black-throated Babbler: Heard
on B trail and 2-3 seen in undergrowth off H trail, KNC (18-19/10).
205) Chestnut-rumped Babbler:
1 in understorey off M trail, KNC (18/10).
206) Chestnut-winged Babbler:
1 on B trail (19/10) and several in undergrowth on edge of main
road, near junction with H trail (20/10), KNC.
207) Striped Tit Babbler:
1 heard on B trail (19/10) and 1 seen on H trail (20/10), KNC; 1
in garden of Morakot and adjacent secondary growth (19/10).
208) Fluffy-backed Tit Babbler:
Single bird in undergrowth off M trail, KNC (18/10).
(h) Chestnut-capped Babbler: Several
heard but not seen, in long rank grass and reeds, Bang Pra (31/10).
209) Australasian Bushlark: Single
bird in grassland, Bang Pra (31/10).
210) Indochinese Bushlark: 5
in grassland, Bang Pra (31/10), noticeably darker and rounder-winged
than Australasian Bushlark.
211) Yellow-breasted Flowerpecker:
2 on H trail, KNC (19/10).
212) Yellow-vented Flowerpecker:
1 in clearing on ‘N’ trail, KNC (20/10).
213) Orange-bellied Flowerpecker:
1 male on H trail, KNC (20/10).
214) Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker:
Widespread and seen daily, at Maritime and mangrove
walkway at Krabi, H trail at KNC, Ko Phi Phi Don, in flooded mangroves/woodland
at floating village of Chong Kneas, ATT, Angkor Wat, Ta Som, Bang
Pra, and Lumphini Park.
215) Ruby-cheeked Sunbird: Pair
feeding in flowering tree [with Yellow-eared Spiderhunter] on B
trail, KNC (19/10); pair in mangroves at walkway, Krabi (18/10,
20/10); 1 male at Preah Khan and a pair at Ta Som, Angkor (29/10).
216) Brown-throated Sunbird: Seen
daily at Krabi (18/10, 20-21/10) including the Maritime, mangrove
walkway and adjacent areas, and daily on Koh Phi Phi Don (22-24/10);
also seen at Bang Pra (31/10).
217) Olive-backed Sunbird: Most
widespread and common sunbird observed on the trip. Seen almost
daily, at Krabi including at the Maritime, mangrove walkway and
adjacent areas; Koh Phi Phi Don; Angkor including Angkor Wat, Ta
Som and Neak Pean; Bang Pra, Muang Boran, Phetchaburi and Lumphini
218) Purple Sunbird: 1
male in scrub on western boundary of reservoir, ATT (28/10).
219) Little Spiderhunter: 1
in fairly open secondary growth on H trail, KNC (20/10).
220) Thick-billed Spiderhunter:
1 in growth on edge of pool in grounds of Morakot (19/10).
221) Yellow-eared Spiderhunter:
Single bird feeding in the canopy of a flowering tree together with
Ruby-cheeked Sunbirds, B trail, KNC (19/10).
222) Eurasian Tree Sparrow:
Recorded at Maritime, Krabi (18/10); roadside in Phuket on drive
from ferry to airport (25/10); near floating village of Chong Kneas,
(26/10); roadside on drive to ATT (28/10); in Bangkok near Royal
Palace (2/11); and Lumphini Park (3/11).
223) House Sparrow: Few
roadside in village on drive to ATT (28/10).
224) Forest Wagtail: 1
adult walking quietly across the path to the pier, Maritime, Krabi
(18/10); with its lack of tail wagging and cryptic colouration appears
more like a small wader.
225) Yellow Wagtail: Several
birds showing mix of plumage patterns, at Muang Boran (31/10); 1
at Khok Kham and 1 at Nordmann’s ponds (1/11) – see
discussion above for further details.
226) Grey Wagtail:
Single adult by small spring in open ground above Emerald Pool,
D trail boardwalk, KNC (19/10).
227) Richard’s Pipit: 1
flying overhead at Muang Boran (31/10).
228) Paddyfield Pipit:
Many at Angkor Wat (27/10); 1 on road on drive to ATT, and 2 on
road bordering reservoir at ATT (28/10); 5 at Bang Pra and 3 at
Muang Boran (31/10); 2 at spoonbill site, Laem Pak Bia (1/11);
229) Baya Weaver:
Flock of c. 15 in reeds at Bang Pra (31/10).
230) White-rumped Munia:
small flock present in grounds of Maritime, Krabi (18/10, 20/10),
nesting in Bougainvilleas in planter boxes on balconies.
231) Scaly-breasted Munia: 10
in long grass near driveway, Maritime, Krabi (20/10); flock of c.15
in long grass near hotel, Koh Phi Phi Don (22-23/10); in rice paddy
at ATT (28/10); 5 in reeds at Bang Pra, and c. 10 in reeds at Muang
Boran (31/10); c. 10 roadside, Phetchaburi (1/11); 4 on roadside
nature strip near Wat Pho, Bangkok (2/11);
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