This is an area close to the agricultural university and features
a variety of habitats, including a significant amount of wetland.
It was a superb area to bird and we were ably assisted by the keen
eyes and extensive knowledge of Tu, who I must say can get a scope
on a bird faster than anyone I have ever known, regardless of the
position of the bird, whether high in a tree or far off in the distance.
Almost without exception we had superb looks at all the birds we
saw that day.
One of the desirable
species we wished to see was Lesser Whistling Duck and this was
the very first species we saw on exiting from the vehicle. In total
we saw 14 of them throughout our period at Kampangsaen. A superb
Black-capped Kingfisher flew across in front of us and perched obligingly
on an overhanging branch where we could scope it easily and look
at it to our heart's content. Black Drongo was common and it was
rare that we did not have one or two of these birds close by. We
were pleasantly surprised by the presence of numerous Chinese Pond
Herons (21 by our count before we left), and we also saw 3 Javan
Pond Herons and a single Yellow Bittern. Birds were everywhere we
looked, including three marvelous Coppersmith Barbets, one with
a mouthful of figs that almost defied the law of gravity there were
so many in its bill!
David saw a
raptor fly in and come to rest in a tree on the opposite side of
the wetland. Tu had it in the scope immediately and it revealed
its identity - an Oriental Honey Buzzard. This excitement was followed
almost immediately by the arrival of an Oriental Darter which elated
Tu who told us that this species was relatively infrequent. It perched
high atop a tree and stretched and preened giving us wonderful views.
Two Purple Herons
stalked in the marsh and we saw no less than 4 White-throated Kingfishers.
To North Americans used to seeing only Belted Kingfisher on a regular
basis the colours on tropical kingfishers are truly astounding.
We saw our first sunbird species ever (Brown-throated Sunbird),
and two species of Bee-eater - Blue-tailed and Green. We were able
to get very good looks at two Brown Shrikes, one of which caught
and ate a frog.
Jacana flew across the marsh from where we flushed it and was quickly
lost in the reeds where it landed. Despite the presence of many
suitable lily pads we did not see any other jacanas and had to be
content with this lone sighting.
of the highlights for us was the Painted Snipe that Tu located for
us, having heard it calling in a dense marsh. No sooner had we left
the marsh feeling very happy about the Painted Snipe when Tu saw
an Oriental Pratincole fly in. Off immediately turned the vehicle
around and we returned to the marsh, where Tu found not one but
two Oriental Pratincoles - we were two happy birders!
A complete list
of all the birds we saw at Kampangsaen, in the order in which we
saw them, is included at the end of this report. For a morning's
birding it is an impressive list indeed!
We left Kampangsaen
at lunch time and were taken to a local restaurant where we had
excellent food. It was a wonderful experience for us to be able
to dine in a "regular" Thai establishment far from the
tourist areas or from the buffets of the major hotels. Tu and Off
chose the food and we enjoyed it immensely.