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Post Info TOPIC: Thailand Diary


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RE: Thailand Diary


05/12/2023 Kut Chum Yasothon.

After a two day break from birding three of us are set for an early start tomorrow to head north into Sakon Nakhon province where the two Pauls already head the rankings on account of their previous intensive fieldwork. For Barb and me this will all be virgin territory and every bird seen a new province species.

We are set for an early night accordingly. A first for me this afternoon was nibbling on roasted grasshoppers which I found to be quite crunchy and a nice complement to chomping on blueberries. Barb tried a grasshopper then switched exclusively to blueberries.

Its 5.30 pm as I type this sipping a cool beer and the temperature now is ideal. Does life get any sweeter?

Best Wishes to all the GM birding community.

Mike P.



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02/12/2023 - 05.40 am. Huai Sala wildlife sanctuary, Si Sa Ket.

We made an early start from our lodgings noting that there had been heavy overnight rain and after driving through the approach roads fringed by the sterile extensive plantations of Kasava and rubber trees finally entered decent forest where we again heard a Collared Owlet. Birding was very slow even after the dawn, with the only new species being a fine male Red Junglefowl panicking and scurrying ahead on our approach. A catch-up species for me were two White-bellied Erpornis which together with a Green-billed Malkoha which we had glimpsed earlier further boosted my province list.

Our normal morning routine is to ensure we have sufficient water for the day and to obtain hard boiled eggs (which make an adequate mid morning breakfast on the hoof) and a coffee each as soon as practicable. All these are readily purchased from a Seven/Eleven store, generally found in every little town and open at all hours.

We drove through the forest stopping periodically to play Spiderhunter but with no additional species coming in, it was becoming apparent that we might leave earlier than planned for some open country birds en route home.

At one of our stops a wardens vehicle passed us so we lost our chance of being first up and along the trail, diminishing our chances of finding a Ground Cuckoo.

Finally at the summit we met up with the kindly couple manning the watch post and donated a pack of hard boiled eggs and shared coffees and some of their freshly netted small fishes from the little stream.

Overall the morning had fallen a little flat and we had set off for home heading back north noting a Black-winged Kite and for my benefit a short ten minute stop added no. 68 - a Pied Fantail to my Si Sa Ket list to reach 118 with Paul on 150 to top (for the present at least) the province listings.

Regards,

Mike P.



-- Edited by Mike Passant on Monday 4th of December 2023 12:10:14 AM

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01/12/2023 - 10.30 am -Huai Sala wildlife sanctuary - Si Sa Ket.

As is often the case birding S E Asian forests a full day doesnt necessarily equate with a big list and we were focused on exploration and finding our own particular target birds. We were late starting but we were able to successfully agree with the staff that on the following morning we should enter at 5.30 to 6 am and to proceed unaccompanied as we wished so we were well pleased at this arrangement.

We recorded 29 species with 2 Siamese Firebacks a Crested Serpent-Eagle 3 Oriental Pied Hornbills 8 Blue-eared Barbets (these appeared to be the commonest of the barbets present) 3 Puff-throated Bulbuls 3 Grey-eyed Bulbuls ( all heard only- the ones with the Liverpool accents) White-crested Laughingthrushes (at least 4 different parties) flycatchers included 2 Hainan Blues with sunbirds being 2 Crimson, 2 Van Hasselts and 5 Ornates.

We normally make periodic stops and exit the vehicle employing a speaker hanging from foliage playing the alarm call of Little Spiderhunter which draws in smaller passerines- generally warblers and sunbirds with the ubiquitous Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher - so much of our work is quite repetitive.

Whilst we were playing Spiderhunter I thought that I heard the distant 4 notes of Collared Owlet. We stopped the speaker and again over a period of almost a minute we again heard the owlet - this time both of us. Paul accordingly played Collared Owlet via the speaker and the small birds went bananas - they also knew the Owlet 4 note song/call. The Owlet itself came in quite close but in thick foliage remained unseen (after all it is only 6- 61/2 inches in size).
Our predicament with this bird was that although we had been able to confirm the species as present here neither of us have ever set eyes on the species and to record it even as heard only on Ebird it would inflate our life lists and we never include a heard only species unless we have previously seen it. We included it as Owl sp. therefore with an explanation as to the circumstances.
Later we learned that although the bird is known from over the border here in Cambodia it has not previously been noted on the Thai side and is most likely the first record for Eastern Isaan. We should now make some effort to record the bird and importantly attempt to actually pull it in and see/photograph it.

We enjoyed a midday break at the top post where we enjoyed coffee and refreshment with a couple on wardening duty who have two days up here and two days back in their village alternating. We quickly became friends and were taken on a shortish walk to a local streamlet being something of a beauty spot. Our host shouldered an automatic weapon (presumably to warn off poachers/dangerous animals) and we strolled over another sandstone tableland in very similar habitat to the site mentioned previously where Paul had found the Indian Thick-Knees. There were none here either though we did flush 3 Red-wattled Plovers. The midday heat was searing and we were actually pleased to get back to camp where we gulped down copious amounts of water.

We made our farewells and left for the descent through the forest at about 14.45 with stops en route. Barb quickly turned up the first of 3 Verdter Flycatchers (another Si Sa Ket target) and further down Paul spotted 4 Thick-billed Green Pigeons whilst driving. We were particularly on the lookout for Coral-billed Ground-Cuckoo but this often needs multiple trips for a sighting. 
Close to the exit we enjoyed great views of a calling female/immature Siberian Blue Robin (photographed). I have never previously seen a bird actually calling but to see it thus was quite something. The bird was continually rapidly shivering its tail and we were able to watch it doing this whilst otherwise stationary on a horizontal perch for several minutes. To my ear its distinctive call is a throaty Tok generally given from thick cover which is how we first detected this individual.

After a great couple of days birding my province list had increased by over 60 species and Paul had become top lister for Si Sa Ket nudging 150 species with another morning still in prospect.

Cheers,

Mike P.

 

 

 



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01/12/2023 - Nong Si reservoir Si Sa Ket.

A 06.30 start saw us here for a half hour adding to our previous afternoon tally a White-throated Kingfisher a Black- collared Starling and a Paddyfield Pipit but also a superb Eastern Yellow Wagtail (macronyx sub sp.) which flew off before it could be photographed.

We then headed off towards the Huai Sala wildlife sanctuary by way of a small reservoir noting 31 species the main attractions here being:-

2 Racket-tailed Treepies

3 Indochinese Bushlarks

1 Thick-billed Warbler

1 Hainan Blue Flycatcher

2 Taiga Flycatchers

1 Blue-Rockthrush

4 Blue-winged Leafbirds ( photographed)

5 Plain-backed Sparrows. (This attractive species is not at all well named in our view - see photo of a male bird).

At 10.30 we arranged entry to the Huai Sala wildlife sanctuary proper at the Mangja entry point and were escorted in (as is the norm here) but pleasingly and unusually were left to our own devices at the centre and so drove on into the border area where we spent the next six hours birding. More detail to follow later.

Cheers,

Mike P.

 

 



-- Edited by Mike Passant on Sunday 3rd of December 2023 11:36:25 AM

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- A few shots from the cliff top overlook on 30/11;-

-Two old codgers - a record shot of Dusky Crag-Martin-Black-naped Oriole-Butterfly sp.- Blue-eared Barbet- Grey-headed Canary-Flycatcher-Rufous Treepie- Striated Swallows.

 



-- Edited by Mike Passant on Sunday 3rd of December 2023 06:43:18 AM



-- Edited by Mike Passant on Sunday 3rd of December 2023 09:52:02 AM

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30/11/2023 - 06.30 am - Khao Phra Wihan Nat Pk. Si Sa Ket.

Back in birding mode three of us (Mike Barb Paul) set off early from Kutchum for the three hour drive to the border areas with Cambodia for a three day blitz in this area. With only minimal experience here in Si Sa Ket and with just 50 species under my belt (as compared with Pauls 120) we were hoping for some good finds.

At the park entrance despite Pauls residency status he had to pay the same fee as Barb and me (200 bahts each and 30 for the vehicle) - still cheap though for what lay ahead.

Our 3 hour session yielded up 41 species, including many additions to our respective province lists. The pick of these being:-

1 Crested Serpent-Eagle

Barbets - 3 Coppersmiths 3 Lineated and 1 Blue-eared.

1 Black-naped Oriole

2 Bar-winged Flycatcher-Shrikes

8 Dusky Crag-Martins -(these were my own highlight birds and my first in Thailand). We were standing on the spectacular cliff top overlook where in April Paul and Pen were being bombed by terrestrial Peregrines. The extensive forest canopy immediately below us is all in Cambodia and should I ever start a list for there (unlikely) these could be my first entries. Other birds noted here were Striated Swallows an Ashy Drongo and Paul noted another Crested Serpent-Eagle.

5 Assorted common bulbul species

4 Phylloscopus species (Paul logged a putative Claudias Leaf-Warbler which continually was spreading its tail feathers- a feature which I need to research further as I have no experience of this behaviour).

6 White-crested Laughingthrushes - always great to see these spectacular extroverts.

1 Plain Flowerpecker

2 Scarlet-backed Flowerpeckers

1 Van Hasselts Sunbird (male).

We exited the park to explore some dry country further west arriving at 11.30 and logged 32 species in 70 minutes.

Pick of the bunch here were 2 high flyover Crested Treeswifts seen only by Paul and four Rufous-winged Buzzards several kilometres apart. These we find as common raptors further north and are supposedly scarcer here but in our experience we have found them readily here as well - perhaps a change in status is underway?

 With our tickets still valid we re entered the park at 14.00 and added Blue Rock-Thrush at the cliff overlook and a very vocal Green-eared Barbet but of the Dusky Crag-Martins there was no sign. We relaxed with coffees at the cafe nearby whilst keeping a wary eye on the unwelcome monkeys emboldened here by idiot tourists who feed them.

We left the park heading for the Nong Si reservoir for some list padding water birds arriving at 16.10. We found the water levels too high for much in the way of waders nevertheless we logged an overall total of 17 species in a 45 minute session - the notable records from our point of view being:-

300 Lesser Whistling Ducks

15 Black-winged Stilts

 4 Common Sandpipers

10 Small Pratincoles

5 Common egret/heron species- but no Purple Heron (our main target).

We left to seek out lodgings for the night (nice clean accommodation for 50 bahts /£11 per room) and mulled over our lists over beer and our meals with plans formulated for an early start to a full day in the morning.

-Some photos to follow later.

Regards,

Mike P.

 



-- Edited by Mike Passant on Sunday 3rd of December 2023 06:30:39 AM

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28/11/2023 - Kut Chum village.

A huge turnout today of hundreds for Daves funeral. The monks and local dignitaries all officiating, so obviously no birding today out of respect for our friend. Prior to the cremation we were all invited to anoint the body with coconut oil (deemed a cleansing) and to say our personal farewells; - he will be deeply missed here in the local community.

Photos attached of David Clark (1955 - 2023) and the ornately decorated crematorium.

Regards,

Mike, Barb, and Paul.



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27/11/2023 - 07.00 am - Phu Pha Thoep Nat. Pk. (headquarters vicinity) Mukdahan Province.

Up and out by 05.40 am for the one and a half hour drive north-east facing the dawn sky - what better way to start a day?

Our aim was to see the Indian Thick-Knees and Red-wattled Lapwings discovered by Paul last month. However upon arrival the site (a high rocky tableland with scattered tussock grass) was found to be much drier than three weeks ago and despite 90 minutes searching there was no sign of either species which may well have moved on. Undaunted we enjoyed the spectacular sandstone architecture with huge boulders perched mushroom style upon dangerously slender rock pedestals.

Of just 9 common species recorded the pick was a Blue Rock-Thrush and a province tick for Barb and me in the shape of a Lineated Barbet.

By 09.00 we had arrived at Huai Sing in the same Nat. Park where the pick of 10 common species was a Yellow-vented Flowerpecker which was especially pleasing for Paul as a province tick. 
By 12.30 we had arrived in Dong Bang-i Forest Park and despite the oppressive heat logged a final 12 species before calling it a day. Pick of these were:-

8 Asian Green Bee-eaters

3 Ashy Drongos

5 White-faced Jays

3 Yellow-browed Warblers

1 Two-barred Warbler

1 Asian Brown Flycatcher (juv. - photographed)

3 Taiga Flycatchers

4 Ornate Sunbirds (formerly called Olive-backed Sunbird - though still appear no more ornate than previously).

Regards,

Mike P.

 

 

 



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23/11/2023 - 06.15 am - Laloeng Roi Ru - Buri Ram province.

An earlier start this morning to kick off a 4 hour session yielded 55 species including some more additions to our efforts in this exciting area, some of the highlights being: -

2 Green Imperial Pigeons (flyover birds)

Barbets - Blue-eared, Green-eared, Lineated - all heard only.

25 Red-breasted Parakeets

Minivets - Small, Ashy, and Scarlet.

1 Black-winged Cuckooshrike

Drongos - Black, Ashy, Hair-crested, and Greater Racket-tailed.

1 Lanceolated Warbler. (I found long ago that these are readily walked up by strolling through shortish grass in suitable habitat and if present a bird gets up ahead and flies 20 feet or so before plopping down. The trick is to see where it lands and then it often just sits still crouching allowing decent/good views if the grass is not too long).

2 Abbotts Babblers

4 White-crested Laughingthrushes.

6 flycatcher species - ( usual culprits, etc).

- A great start to our trip with Paul up to 197 species for the province and into second spot in the rankings, and with me onto 150 and into ninth spot.

A section of photos from our day and a half follow:- 

Regards,

Mike P. Barbara P. Paul P.

 

 

 

 



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21/11/2023 - Barb and I were met at around 11.40 am at Bangkok airport by Paul and Pen after the long tedious ( almost 11 hours) flight out from Amsterdam (via KLM for a change - next time we shall revert back to Emirates).

We shot off via 2 new provinces (Prachin Buri and Sa Kaeo) to log a few roadside province ticks en route to our prebooked lodgings in Buri Ram province with a day and a half good birding in prospect.

With a leisurely start at 7.30 am on our first full day Nov.22nd (marking for me exactly 29 years of retirement from work) we entered the Dong Yai Wildlife sanctuary at Laloeng Roi Ru- 62 species in the morning session with a good selection of quality species to boost our respective lists for Buri Ram.

Highlight species being:-

1 Green Imperial Pigeon. (photographed) This being a prime site for this species in Thailand- an earlier start would certainly have yielded good numbers. The other major species here is Ashy-headed Green Pigeon which Paul has photographed before - though a no show this time.

1 Racket-tailed Treepie.

4 Asian Woolly-necked Storks - here reintroduced and though nice to see at large, not seriously tickable.

2 Striated Herons

2 Oriental Pied Hornbills (not seen by me as I was seated on the wrong side of the vehicle).

25 Red-breasted Parakeets

Included also were a host of common flycatchers and an Arctic Warbler and a Ruby-cheeked Sunbird were first records for the park.

We returned to our lodgings for a midday break only for Pen to receive tragic news which cast a long shadow over the rest of the day. Australian Dave, one of Pauls ex pat pals, and our host at the last Christmas Day party here, an experienced biker and a justice of the peace living also in Kut Chum had just been killed in a crash only minutes ago while out with his small group of biker friends.

Our afternoon session was a more sober one accordingly with another good count which included a Crested Goshawk and a major world tick for me in the shape of a Yellow-eyed Babbler (at last!!)

Photos to be included in due course.

Regards,

Mike P.



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15/11/2023  - 7.30 am - Pha Nam Yoi Forest Park - Roi Et Province.

An early start saw Paul (inspired by a spell of easterly winds) birding the extensive grounds of this large temple complex checking for migrants.

A two hour session yielded up 30 species, highlights of which were:-

1 White-browed Piculet

3 White-bellied Erpornis

7 Yellow-browed Warblers

1 Alstroms Warbler

2 Two-barred Warblers

1 Claudias Leaf Warbler

5 Abbotts Babblers

4 White-rumped Shamas

3 Hainan Blue Flycatchers

1 Indochinese Blue Flycatcher

3 Siberian Blue Robins

3 Taiga Flycatchers

1 Blue Rock-Thrush

1 Little Spiderhunter.

Alstroms and Claudias Warblers and the Piculet were province ticks resulting in 186 for him in Roi Et - just 3 adrift of Shaun Greens 189. Shaun of course lives in Roi Et and is the long term leading field worker and lister for the province.

By 9.30 am Paul had crossed into Mukdahan at Tambon Ban Pao  where in an hour and 20 mins. he logged just 15 species but significantly added both Alstroms and Claudias Warblers to his province list.

Cheers,

Mike P.

 

 

 



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08/11/2023 - Various sites in Surin Province.

With a 6.30 am start and a full day Paul undertook a solo blitz around four sites in this smallish province which lies due south of Yasothon managing to boost his Surin list by 37 species. The best addition being a Rufous Treepie - a species which I have yet to catch up with in Thailand.

- A few photos attached from his outing : White-crested Laughingthrush, Lineated Barbet, and Chestnut-headed Bee-eater.

Cheers,

Mike P.



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03/11/2023 - 08.30 am. Phu Pha Thoep Nat. Pk. Mukdahan Province.

Paul made the short trip into Mukdahan to see if the Indian Thick-knees were still present from the previous week. At least so far they are and Paul managed record shots of presumably the same pair keeping loose company with a Red-wattled Lapwing.

Cheers,

Mike P.

 



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23/10/2023 - 11.30 am Phu Pha Thoep Nat. Pk. Mukdahan Province.

A solo outing for some general birding here was curtailed somewhat when Paul walked into two Thick-knees, accidentally flushing them from just 5 metres ahead. He then spent almost 2 hours slowly searching and stalking them until at last he obtained a few flight shots which confirmed for him a new species for his Thai list. - Indian Thick-knee, a scarce winter visitor mainly to central Thailand well to the west of here.

The species was traditionally regarded as a form of Stone Curlew (sub sp. indicus) but on Ebird is now recognised as Indian Thick-knee).

Photos below.

Cheers,

Mike P.



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20/10/2023 - Phu Chong Na Yoi National Park - Ubon Ratchathani Province, 

At last I am free to report this major find by Paul Farrell (the driving force behind this project) and my son Paul and his wife Pen. I had promised to keep this under wraps until now when an article in the June issue of Birding Asia written by Philip Round is currently being published, (though our complementary copy is still awaited).

The subject species concerned is Bar-bellied Pitta - a bird regularly and most easily seen in Vietnam where I enjoyed my only encounters in February of 2008. Despite the species being depicted in both my Thai fieldguides (Lekagul and Round 1991, and Treesucon and Limparungpatthanakij 2018) the only Thai records having any claim to credibility were : - the first record (of unknown provenance) between 1968 and 1974 then the finding of a dead male in 1983 (Ubon Ratchathani) then more recently in December 2015 a monochrome image was captured on a camera trap during a study of biodiversity by researchers of the Yot Dom Wildlife Sanctuary.

A follow up expedition with military escort encountered illegal Cambodian timber poachers during which automatic weapons were fired and an arrest of one poacher was made with the rest fleeing. No sound or sighting of the Pitta resulted.

Further exploration followed with no further records for Bar-bellied Pitta though both Eared and Blue Pittas along with Coral-billed Ground Cuckoo were found to be present in suitable habitats.

With searching focused increasingly on Phu Yong Na Yoi Nat. Pk. Paul Farrell heard both territorial and alarm calls in June of 2021. He and Paul Passant made subsequent repeat trips with Paul Farrell (alone) obtaining a brief sighting on the forest trail on 11/05/22 but did not manage a photograph. No further aural or visual sightings were obtained until 19/04/23 at approx. 07.30 am when Paul Passant and his wife Duanpen (Pen) in response to light playback saw a male bird right out on the trail before them and Paul (rather dumbstruck!) obtained a record shot as the bird was exiting the scene.

They trecked back the 5 Kms or so to the site that afternoon hoping for better photos but the military were travelling along the trail on motorbikes as they are engaged on a long term project of mine clearance just further south by the Cambodian border.

Regards,

Mike P.

 



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17/10/2023 - Kalasin Province - various sites.

The two Pauls again teamed up over recent days for a comprehensive blitz on a mix of sites in this underwatched province. The best find was that of a vocalising Sakhalin Leaf Warbler identified in the field by spectrogram readings showing frequency under 5 KHz. - Apparently Pale-legged Leaf Warbler readings show the frequency greater than 6KHz. 
Their recording efforts have pushed the province list now to 196 with PP the lead jockey on 143 a recent increase from 129, and PF up from 110 to 128.

Cheers,

Mike P.



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07/10/2023 Mukdahan Province.

It appears from observations by PF PP and myself over the last few years that the underwatched Mekong River (certainly in the long section where it flows rough north/south on Thailands eastern border with Laos) is possibly a major flyway in the migration period favoured by wildfowl. Paul was dining out with his wife and mother-law at a riverside restaurant and shot off a few photos of some 50 ducks out on the river;- 50 Garganey constituted the first record for the province. This followed our first record for Wigeon earlier in the year when we scoped up a dozen far out towards the Laos shore.

He is still filling in blanks in searching for White-winged Terns in these eastern provinces and yesterday on the 9th he logged both marsh tern species totalling about25 in equal numbers at Huai Hin Kong in Amnat Charoen.

Earlier on the waterfront at Chanuman despite the high water levels he was pleased to find a Mekong Wagtail close by. A photo of this is attached together with a photo of the common wintering White Wagtail of the leucopsis form (aka Amur Wagtail). Mekong Wagtail is of course one of eastern Thailands special birds and bears more than a passing resemblance to the rather larger African Pied Wagtail.

Cheers,

Mike P.



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02/10/2023 - 21.15 Pauls garden, - Kutchum, Yasothon Province.

A nice addition for Pauls local patch list - a pair of calling Collared Scops Owls emanating from the canal area - heard for some 15 minutes but didnt respond to playback.

Cheers,

Mike P.



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25/09/2023 - 14.45 - Phon Sung Salt pans - Ubon Thani Province.

By mid afternoon the guys had travelled further north into Ubon Thani with a short incidental scan over this site where among 16 species the only addition to the wader tally was a single Green Sandpiper among much smaller numbers of other waders. The best species here in overall terms were two Red Avadavats (see photo)

On 26/09/2023 they made an early start back further south at the Nong Kwang salt pans again but wader numbers were lower both in numbers and in species among a species count of 33 noted in heavy rain.

Their efforts were rewarded however with an Eastern Yellow Wagtail of the Green-headed form (sub sp. taivana) and a few more province ticks on their personal lists.

I have yet to visit these two rather neglected provinces myself although of course they are in Isaan; - perhaps on my next visit?

Regards,

Mike P.



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25/09/2023 - 8.00 am  Nong Kwang Salt Pans - Sakon Nakhon Province.

Paul met up here with Paul Farrell to check out wader passage. He states in the introductory comments that the site is unique in Thailand as an area of inland salt pans where from October through to April salt water is drawn from artesian wells and left to dry out. In the wet/ hot season the area is left to nature.

The guys spent five hours here recording just 36 species with not much diversity but feel that it has good future potential.

Among the usual commoner species they logged 9 wader species as follows: -

40 Black-winged Stilts

40 Little Ringed Plovers

20 Temmincks Stints

1 Long-toed Stint

2 Common Sandpipers

8 Greenshanks

3 Marsh Sandpipers

50 Wood Sandpipers

300 Oriental Pratincoles

Attached are single shots of Temmincks and Long-toed Stints.

Mike P.

 



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20/09/2023 - 12.25 -Huai Tham Khe - Ubon Ratchathani Province.

Paul visited this site specifically to search for White-winged Terns and spent a half hour taking photos of both Whiskered and White-winged - about 25 of the former and ten of the latter. The White-winged are thus the first definitive records for this province.

Photos show winter plumage (adult?) birds of one Whiskered and two White-winged.

Cheers,

Mike P.



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18/09/2023 - I noticed this morning that Pauls personal list for Yasothon and Mukdahan provinces had both increased by one although he hasnt been out birding today.

In discussion later on family matters, in passing he mentioned that Ayuwat Jearwatanakanok (one of Thailands acknowledged taxonomic gurus) had mailed him pointing out that one of Pauls photos from April taken in Phu Mu Forest park depicted a Dark- sided Flycatcher (aka Siberian Flycatcher) and not a form of Asian Brown as captioned.

I immediately recalled this bird as being a point of discussion between three of us (Paul Passant Paul Farrell and myself) at the time. My immediate impression was that the bird was Dark-sided but PF had pointed out to PP that it showed clear untipped undertail coverts- a feature for Asian Brown Flycatcher, so it was logged as the Brown-streaked variant of the latter species and I accepted that as a lesson learned.

Ayuwat has pointed out however that the definitive feature that makes it Dark-sided is the tiny bill which imparts the impression of cuteness to the face. This is born out by Pauls photos attached.
This is posted here as an interesting point worth noting for Dark-sided Flycatcher remains a potential vagrant to the Western Palearctic.

Best Wishes,

Mike P.

 

 

 



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17/09/2023 Khok Sung - along Song Khon Canal -Yasothon.

Paul was rewarded with both a garden tick and a province tick at 8 am this morning when three juv. Night Herons flew over the garden compound.

Later at 09.30 he was over in Roi Et at Bueng Doan hoping to find White-wing terns (which have always eluded him thus far in Roi Et). He drew a blank on these but was fortunate to add two bonus species to his Roi Et list nevertheless - a fine Pied Kingfisher and a Streaked Weaver (photographed) among 6 species at this site.

Moving on at midday by Kham Bia as an incidental record he noted at least 40 Night Herons. Seemingly these are generally on the move through central/ eastern Isaan.

Water levels are high presently. In a small flooded forest section he noted thousands of displaced fish in shallow water and these possibly are attracting the Night Herons?

Regards,

Mike P.



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16/09/2023 - 8 am. Pha Nam Yoi Forest park, - Roi Et Province.

Paul headed west on a relatively short trip into Roi Et hoping for any passage migrants.

He recorded just 18 species in an hour but found among these three new species for his own province list to take it to 180 (only 7 behind the lead jockey - a birder who actually lives here in Roi Et).

Full list as follows (which encompasses nothing unusual) but the two warblers and the flycatcher were actually nice catch ups for Paul in Roi Et: -

2 Green-billed Malkohas

14 Asian Palm Swifts

2 Shikras (an adult photographed and a juv.)

10 Asian Green Bee-eaters

2 Lineated Barbets

2 Eurasian Jays

4 Large-billed Crows

8 Black-crested Bulbuls

2 Stripe-throated Bulbuls

1 Eastern Crowned Warbler

1 Arctic Warbler

4 Pin-striped Tit-Babblers

2 Black-collared Starlings

4 Common Mynas

8 Great Mynas

2 White-rumped Shamas

1 Indochinese Blue Flycatcher

4 Olive-backed Sunbirds.

Cheers,

Mike P.

 

 

 



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13/09/2023 - Dong Hua Kong & Dong Bang Ee Community Forests - Phu Sing - Amnat Charoen Province.

Paul took advantage of a midday break in the rain for the short trip east into this small province which lies south of Mukdahan and north of Ubon Ratchathani flanked on the eastern side by the mighty Mekong river.

It seems to have been pretty good for passing migrants - especially swifts.

21 species recorded, - the best being:-

15 Brown-backed Needletails (his best ever count often flying too close to photograph).

20 Germains Swiftlets

25 Pacific Swifts (photographed)

15 Asian Palm Swifts

1 Eastern Marsh Harrier (an adult male in wing moult - photographed)

1 Shikra ( juv. photographed).

4 Brahminy Kites

10 Asian Green Bee-eaters

6 Blue-throated Bee-eaters

2 Lineated Barbets

1 Brown Shrike.

Regards,

Mike P.

 

 



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11/09/2023 - various stops along the Mekong shores, - Mukdahan Province.

With Pen needing to take the car over into Ubon Ratchathani for its service Paul opted instead for a morning birding along selected lengths of the Mekong riverside habitats.

He found a lingering Blue-winged Pitta still present at one of the regular breeding sites among the usual crop of expected species but was pleased to add a province tick in the shape of an Osprey flying down river.

A brief speculative ten minute stop at a bridge rewarded him with a Striated Heron - not just a province tick but the first record for Mukdahan Province itself - taking that list to 210 species of which Paul now stands on 183.

Somehow I dont see myself ever catching him?

Regards,

Mike P.



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09/09/2023 - Boong Khla Community Forest - Yasothon.
A 7.00 am start saw Paul in his favourite local forest patch where he has now recorded 111 species, his latest addition being an adult Watercock which he photographed as it flushed and flew off ahead of him.

An hour produced just 19 species in all, - the Blue-winged Pittas and Van Hasselts Sunbirds seemingly now departed for their winter quarters. The more notable species among the rest were:- 

6 Little Egrets

7 Asian Green Bee-eaters

1 Coppersmith Barbet

3 Lineated Barbets

1 Hair-crested Drongo

2 Greater Racket-tailed Drongos

1 Brown Shrike

3 Pin-striped Tit-Babblers

4 Puff-throated Babblers

5 Abbotts Babblers

2 Hainan Blue Flycatchers.

Later at 09.24 he spent 50 minutes logging 17 species at Phu Sung Charoen Tham Buddhist Sanctuary. 
Notable here were a single flyover Lesser Whistling Duck, three Bulbul species (Black-crested, Stripe-throated and Streak- eared) but the pick of a fairly predictable crop was an Eastern-crowned Warbler - a passage bird in these parts which I myself have yet to catch up with in Thailand.

Cheers,

Mike P.

 

 

 

 



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05/09/2023 - 8.45 am - Phu Mu Forest Park - Yasothon.

This morning Paul spent an hour and a half here on the lookout for signs of migration through this site which has thoroughly redeemed itself over the last year as a source of avian surprises.

He was rewarded with a rare province tick (no. 223)- the white faced form of Eurasian Jay of which he had three and spent most of the time here trying for a decent photo.

Also noteworthy passing through were four of the hulking Brown-backed Needletails - surely the Tyson Furies of all swifts?

Regards,

Mike P.

 



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01/09/2023 - Ubon Ratchathani Rice Research Centre - Ubon Ratchathani.

Paul bowled up here at 11.30 specifically to search for any Wood Sandpipers as he had counted 15 in adjacent Yasothon the previous day. This would be not just a province tick for him but would constitute a first record for the province. He logged 26 species in a 45 minute session which included only two wader species - 4 Common Sandpipers and 3 Wood Sandpipers! 
Yes these are relatively common birds in Thailand but nobody has previously put in the time (in the optimum season) to bother looking here. 

I always marvel at some of the journeys achieved by long distance migrant waders, - it is pretty humbling really. In 1995 during our only visit to New Zealand, Barb and I went for a quiet evening stroll and in a tiny marshy corner of a roadside field and there stood close by a single wader - a Wood Sandpiper.

On another trip a few years later in Madagascar a group of us found (of all things!) a Pectoral Sandpiper.

 Arent birds something!

Best Wishes,

Mike P.



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31/08/2023 -10.30 am Khueang Kam - Nong Hoi paddies Yasothon.

A 10.30 start saw Paul scanning for migrants at this regular wader site not far from home and in 2 hours and a half he clocked up 41 species the more interesting of which were: - 

2 White- breasted Waterhen (adult with chick).

30 Black-winged Stilts

1 Grey-headed Lapwing

5 Little Ringed Plovers

1 Long-toed Stint

1 Common/Pin-tailed Snipe

2 Common Sandpipers

15 Wood Sandpipers

40 Asian Openbill

14 Asian Green Bee-eaters (a notable count for these here).

In addition the usual spread of egrets and herons and a host of the usual passerines.

Cheers,

Mike P.

 

1 Eastern Yellow Wagtail (this being a site first record) 

 

 

 



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30/08/2023 Loeng Nok Tha airport (disused) Yasothon Province.

Paul made the short journey to this site spending 25 minutes hoping for anything unusual, logging just 14 species which included 3 Little Ringed Plovers and a single juv. Oriental Pratincole (photographed) but no other waders as yet. The best of the rest being 2 Brown Shrikes (a juv. photographed) and 12 Oriental Skylarks - this being the best local site for this species.

Earlier on 24th he had crossed over into Roi Et to Huai Aeng to see if there were any waders about but water levels were too high and among 31 of the usual species the only wader was a Common Sandpiper.

I suspect he is hoping to find a Sharp-tailed Sandpiper or even an Oriental Plover passing en route south (this latter of course a dream bird which is possible here in drier situations).

Cheers,

Mike P.



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21/08/2023 8.30 am Huai Khee Lek - Mukdahan province.

Paul made the short trip into Mukdahan for an hour and a half session looking for any early autumn migrants. Among the 37 common species he recorded he found the joint first autumn record of the year for Thailand - a Brown Shrike though no waders at all around the lake margins.

Of the 207 species recorded for this province Pauls list stands on 181 so he seldom adds to this apart from odd specific twitches from time to time. The fact that I stand in fifth place on 88 attests to the fact that Mukdahan (in the far east) is largely off the beaten track for the countrys big listers.

Cheers,

Mike P.



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15 and 16/08/2023 Khon Kaen Province - mainly Phu Pha Man national park.

Paul made the 3 hour trip west from Yasothon to team up again with Paul Farrell for a two day visit to an excellent site in this national park - the Phaya Nakharat cave area. En route they recorded a few incidentals in the form of a Cinnamon Bittern and two Crested Treeswifts perched on overhead wires.

At 12.26 they stopped at the Khang Khao Cave (bat cave) where the pick of 11 species were 4 Dusky Crag Martins. A photo of one high flying bird showed the well spread tail with typical diagnostic spots.

Arriving at 15.10 at the Phaya Nakharat cave they recorded 21 species:-

1 Spotted Dove

4 Asian Emerald Doves

1 Greater Coucal

1 Asian Koel

1 Violet Cuckoo (photos)

2 Malayan Night-Herons (1 adult, and a juv. photographed)

3 Asian Green Bee-eaters

1 Blue-eared Barbet

2 Green-eared Barbets

1 Lineated Barbet

1 Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker

1 Blue-winged Pitta (heard)

1 Common Iora

1 Greater Racket-tailed Drongo

1 Large-billed Crow

1 Common Tailorbird

2 Grey-breasted Prinias

1 Puff-throated Babbler

2 White-rumped Shamas

1 Indochinese Blue Flycatcher

4 White-rumpled Munias.

Later at 20.35 they added a Collared Scops-Owl to round off the day.

On the following morning with a start at 07.10 they recorded 27 species (obviously with a good percentage of repeats) but added:-

1 Green-billed Malkoha

2 White-browed Piculets

2 Woodpeckers - sp. (originally thought to be Bamboo Woodpeckers but after circulation of photographs and discussion now considered to be of the known hybrid form Bamboo Woodpecker x Pale-headed Woodpecker)

4 White-bellied Erphornis

2 Great Ioras

2 Black-naped Monarchs

2 Striated Swallows

1 Black-headed Bulbul

2 Black-crested Bulbuls

2 Stripe-throated Bulbuls

2 Puff-throated Bulbuls

2 Grey-eyed Bulbuls

3 Yellow-bellied Warblers

2 Pin-striped Tit-Babblers

4 Buff-chested Babblers

2 White-browed Scimitar-Babblers (heard)

3 Puff-throated Babblers

1 Dark-sided Flycatcher

1 Olive-backed Sunbird

1 Little Spiderhunter

PP added 31 species to his personal list for Khon Kaen and PF a handful but pleasingly the latter regained his top spot on 311 for this his home province.

Regards,

Mike P.

 

 

 

 



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13/08/2023 Roi Et and Kalasin provinces.

Paul embarked on a couple of twitches over the last few days : - one into Roi Et province on 11th to dip on a short staying Lesser Adjutant and then more successfully on 12th north west into Kalasin to gain a province tick in the shape of a Streaked Weaver.

Revisiting our thrush fest of January this year (my post on/around 12/01/2023 refers) an interesting discussion has been ongoing over recent months. This has centred upon our Black-breasted Thrush found in company with the maculata buff throated form of Orange-headed Thrush, this latter being the first of this sub species to be identified in Thailand.

In conversation with Paul,  Phillip Round posed an interesting question as to whether we had considered the possibility that our female Black-breasted Thrush could have been a female Grey-backed Thrush?

Of course we had not! - Simply because Grey-backed Thrush is not depicted in either the old or in the new Thai fieldguide, 

The winds during the whole of the previous week blowing consistently from the north east had undoubtedly brought the maculata Orange-headed Thrush which shares its summer range in north east China with Grey-backed Thrush, and a perusal of the literature (including my China fieldguide) confirms this but also states the difficulty involved in identifying females of this species pair in the field.

Positive identification therefore (even with quite good photographs) is not possible without biometrics and a bird in the hand. Preferably therefore looking to the future we need a similar spell of weather this coming winter and a male bird to appear!

Cheers,

Mike P.

 



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For some reason the last two posts on this thread got shuffled chronologically (June 15th appearing after June 21st) - - no doubt something I must have got wrong, -so apologies for that.

It is still the rainy season in Thailand so Paul has not been out birding for some 6/7 weeks but at least the rice crop is doing well thus far.

Paul and Pen have been away on business over the last few days down in Petchaburi province situated at the head of the gulf of Thailand on the north western edge where in 2017 we found one of the wintering Spoon-billed Sandpipers at the prime site for the species.

En route they passed through the tiny province of Samut Songkhram so Paul took the opportunity to start a list for what is (in birding terms) a new province, spending an hour at the Don Hoi Lot salt pans and mudflats where they logged 31 fairly common species the pick of which were:-

30 Black-winged Stilts

60 Lesser Sand-Plovers

1 Little Ringed Plover

6 Whimbrels

50 Black-tailed Godwits

40 Common Redshanks

5 Little Terns

14 Painted Storks

2 Little Cormorants

6 Indian Cormorants

1 Purple Heron

1 Great/Intermediate Egret

5 Little Egrets

2 Javan Pond-Herons

1 Brahminy Kite

3 Collared Kingfishers

1 Asian Green Bee-eater

1 Blue-tailed Bee-eater

Later in the day based at their temporary lodgings in Petchaburi province, they found time to do a little list padding with a few common species.
Petchaburi straddles both the gulf on the east and to the west the border with Myanmar with which it shares the Kaeng Krachen National Park - (the largest in Thailand) with a province list accordingly of some 625 species.

Regards,

Mike P.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



-- Edited by Mike Passant on Wednesday 9th of August 2023 11:41:42 AM

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15/06/2023 10.30 am - Phu Phan Nat. Pk. Tor Khet (protection unit 6) Kalasin Province.

Paul met up with Dennis and Paul Farrell (the latter back in Thailand after several months away working) on this site located roughly half way between their respective home bases in Khon Kaen and Yasothon.

Here an hour and a half of relaxed birding produced 14 common species including a Crested Serpent Eagle, singles of both Green-eared and Lineated Barbets, a White-bellied Erpornis, 4 Bulbul species, Puff-throated and Pin-striped Tit-Babblers, a White-crested Laughingthrush, a White-rumped Shama, a couple of Ruby-cheeked Sunbirds, and 3 Common Taylorbirds.

Early afternoon (still in Kalasin) they moved on to explore Tambon Nong Hang where four wheel drive was necessary to negotiate the rocky steep trail.

The time of day and hot dry conditions were hardly ideal for birding and their half dozen species comprised:-

2 Rufous-winged Buzzards

1 Shikra

1 Indochinese Roller

1 Lineated Barbet

4 Large-billed Crows

1 Olive-backed Sunbird.

This modest haul across the two sites did in fact yield a few province ticks for them personally and meeting up at least provided the opportunity to formulate plans for the following week in Loei Province with the prospect of more challenging and exciting birding in the north-easter extremity of the Isaan region.
Cheers,

Mike P.

 



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21/06/2023 8.00 am - Phu Lom Lo (still in the national park and on the Loei side).

A 7 hour session produced 36 species to more or less round off their trip. (As an old codger now I cannot really envisage with much enthusiasm 7 hours in the field in the humidity of the wet season with the leeches looping through the leaf litter towards one at every pause in the forest).

The best birds of 36 species recorded were:-

1 Black Eagle (seen by PP as it flew over the road while DF and PF were in their vehicle way ahead).

1 Crested Goshawk

1 Blue-bearded Bee-eater

2 Golden-throated Barbets

3 Blue-throated Barbets

1 Speckled Piculet

1 Stripe-breasted Woodpecker

1 Clicking Shrike-Babbler

1 Blyths Paradise Flycatcher

2 Hill Prinias

1 Golden-headed Cisticola (photographed and a first record for the mountain).

4 Yellow-bellied Warblers

1 Rufous-winged Fulvetta

2 Lesser Shortwings

1 White-crowned Forktail

1 Streaked Spiderhunter 

1 Little Spiderhunter

1 Eye- browed Wren-Babbler (seen by DF and PF).

in summary the guys earned themselves several new species of real quality and boosted their standing as the leading field workers of the Isaan region. PP boosted his own list for Loei Province to 203 though still some way behind PF on around 288/90.

A photo is attached of the Cisticola (courtesy of PF) and a shot of PPs leg; - the price one pays by braving the wet season forest - the basically harmless leeches do leave clothes in a bloody mess and whatever precautions taken (leech socks etc) they always get you.

Regards,

Mike P.

 

 

 

 



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19/06/2023 - 16.30 Phu Hin Rong Kla Nat. Pk. - Phitsanulok side (general vicinity).

The national park and approach road straggles the boundary between the provinces of Loei and Phitsanulok and so on certain stretches when roadside birding and recording one has to be careful as to noting exact locations.

A 45 minute session here yielded 8 species as follows:-

2 Spotted Doves

6 Grey-chinned Minivets

4 Yellow- cheeked Tits

1 Mountain Tailorbird

6 Indian White-eyes

1 White-browed Scimitar-Babbler (heard)

4 Blue-winged Minlas

2 Green Cochoas (heard and recorded- a different pair from the birds heard and seen earlier in Loei. June does seem to be the time here to have a good chance of meeting with this gem of a species).

1 White-browed Forktail.

On 20/06 an hour long midday session, (this time in the headquarters vicinity) still on the Phitsanolok side produced a mix of 13 common species.
In the evening at 11 pm Dennis and Paul Farrell heard and photographed a Brown Wood Owl. PP had taken to his bed so missed the chance to enjoy the owl - a decision which he rather rued later. Dennis may well have been out and had his moth trap going as by the end of their trip he had logged over 80 moth lifers though felt that the expedition had been perhaps a week too early for the dragonflies (these being his prime passion).

Attached below photos of Brown Wood Owl.

Regards,

Mike P.

 

 

 

 



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20/06/2023 - 8.00 am Phu Hin Rong Kla Nat.Pk. (Man Daeng substation) - Loei Province.

3 hours of mist low cloud and rain made for a difficult morning with only 15 species recorded:-

1 Banded Bay Cuckoo

1 Bay Woodpecker

2 White-throated Fantails

2 Bronzed Drongos

1 Common Green Magpie

2 Yellow-cheeked Tits

4 Flavescent Bulbuls

3 Davisons Leaf Warblers

2 Mountain Tailorbirds

1 Rufous-winged Fulvetta

1 Yunnan Fulvetta

4 White-necked Laughingthrushes

1 Green Cochoa (heard).

6 Large Niltavas (heard)

2 Brown-throated Sunbirds

By 14.00 the team had moved on to another site (still in the National park) at Phu Lom Lo with 20 species logged in addition to an inadequate sighting of 3 large pigeons which were left unidentified. Birds here were:-

6 House Swifts

2 Golden-throated Barbets

1 Blue-throated Barbet

1 Stripe-breasted Woodpecker

2 White-throated Fantails

1 Grey-headed Canary-Flycatcher

1 Common Tailorbird

2 Hill Prinias 

8 Sooty-headed Bulbuls

12 Flavescent Bulbuls

4 Yellow-eyed Babblers (another species which I have yet to catch up with, - not as common as the literature would suggest with a markedly patchy distribution).

4 Red-billed Scimitar-Babblers (typically in a small family group).

2 Rufous-winged Fulvettas

4 Blue-winged Minlas

1 Velvet-fronted Nuthatch

1 Oriental Magpie-Robin

2 Large Niltavas

1 Pied Bushchat

1 Jerdons Bushchat  (male).

6 Scaly-breasted Munias.

Photos attached courtesy of Paul Farrell and Paul Passant (Yellow-eyed Babbler and Red-billed Scimitar-Babbler).

Cheers,

Mike P.

 

 

 

 

 



-- Edited by Mike Passant on Friday 30th of June 2023 09:17:58 AM

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19/06/2023 - Phu Hin Rong Kla Nat.Pk. Man Daeng sub-station -Loei Province.

A 10.30 arrival here for Paul and the Farrell brothers (Paul and Dennis) meant that a five hour birding stint through the midday heat demanded a certain resolve bearing in mind that in Thailand they are now in the wet season. 
Their species list of 24 contained more than a few juicey rewards:-

1 Red-headed Trogon

1 Golden-throated Barbet

3 Bay Woodpeckers

5 Grey-chinned Minivets

1 Bronzed Drongo

1 Common Green-Magpie

2 Large-billed Crows

2 Yellow-cheeked Tits

2 Common Tailorbirds

1 Hill Prinia

9 Flavescent Bulbuls

1 Grey-eyed Bulbul

2 Mountain Tailorbirds

1 Golden Babbler

3 Streaked Wren-Babblers

2 Yunnan Fulvettas

5 Black-backed Sibias

4 Blue-winged Minlas

1 Silver-eared Mesia

2 White-necked Laughingthrushes

2 Green Cochoas 

20 Large Niltavas (a notable high count!)

1 Black-throated Sunbird

2 Streaked Spiderhunters 

Green Cochoas were lifers for the guys (as they would be for me) and are among the true gems of south east Asia along with the rarer Purple Cochoa. I also have yet to set eyes upon White-necked Laughingthrush with which we were teased here last year by a calling party in thick forest which stubbornly refused to show themselves;- all part of the ups and downs which keep us addicted!
Attached is Paul Farrells photo of a Blue-winged Minla.

Regards,

Mike P.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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15/06/2023 10.30 am - Phu Phan Nat. Pk. Tor Khet (protection unit 6) Kalasin Province.

Paul met up with Dennis and Paul Farrell (the latter back in Thailand after several months away working) on this site located roughly half way between their respective home bases in Khon Kaen and Yasothon.

Here an hour and a half of relaxed birding produced 14 common species including a Crested Serpent Eagle, singles of both Green-eared and Lineated Barbets, a White-bellied Erpornis, 4 Bulbul species, Puff-throated and Pin-striped Tit-Babblers, a White-crested Laughingthrush, a White-rumped Shama, a couple of Ruby-cheeked Sunbirds, and 3 Common Taylorbirds.

Early afternoon (still in Kalasin) they moved on to explore Tambon Nong Hang where four wheel drive was necessary to negotiate the rocky steep trail.

The time of day and hot dry conditions were hardly ideal for birding and their half dozen species comprised:-

2 Rufous-winged Buzzards

1 Shikra

1 Indochinese Roller

1 Lineated Barbet

4 Large-billed Crows

1 Olive-backed Sunbird.

This modest haul across the two sites did in fact yield a few province ticks for them personally and meeting up at least provided the opportunity to formulate plans for the following week in Loei Province with the prospect of more challenging and exciting birding in the north-eastern extremity of the Isaan region.
Cheers,

Mike P.

 



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29/05/2023 - Phu Chong Na Yoi Nat.Pk. - general area, Ubon Ratchathani.

Paul picked up Philip Round at Ubon Ratchathani airport for a birding jaunt together in this same excellent national park where twelve months ago I enjoyed a couple of days with Paul and the Farrell brothers.

Their listing spanned three days (involving one full day and two mornings), - the list for this site amounted to 47 species as follows: -

1 Siamese Fireback

2 Scaly-breasted Partridges (heard both days)

2 Spotted Doves

5 Asian Emerald Doves

1 Coral-billed Ground-Cuckoo

2 Banded Bay Cuckoos

2 Plaintive Cuckoos

1 Malayan Night-Heron (flushed off the trail)

1 Black Baza

1 Crested Serpent-Eagle

1 Shikra

2 Asian Barred Owlets

1 Oriental Pied Hornbill

1 Blue-bearded Bee-eater

2 Blue-eared Barbets

4 Green-eared Barbets

4 Lineated Barbets

4 Greater Flamebacks 

1 Rufous Woodpecker

2 Black and Buff Woodpeckers (photo attached below).

2 Laced Woodpeckers

2 Greater Yellownapes

6 Banded Broadbills (Heard).

3 Great Ioras

1 Bronzed Drongo

Greater Racket-tailed Drongos (quite a few).

2 Black-naped Monarchs

2 Blyths Paradise-Flycatchers

1 Common Green Magpie (Heard).

4 Large-billed Crows

1 Stripe-throated Bulbul

2 Large Scimitar-Babblers (new for Paul)

4 Scaly-crowned Babblers

4 White-crested Laughingthrushes

1 Yellow-vented Flowerpecker

1 Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker

1 Little Spiderhunter

2 Asian Fairy-Bluebird (more heard).

In addition there were numbers of more common species:- both Common and Dark-necked Tailorbirds, Black-crested Puff-throated and Grey-eyed Bulbuls, Puff-throated and Abbots Babblers and a fair few White-rumped Shamas.

Cheers,

Mike P.

 

 

 

 

 



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18/05/2023 - 6.15 am. - An early morning start at the same location where they finished yesterday evening, Dave and Paul enjoyed an excellent 3 hour 50 minute session here logging 49 species including a few not recorded yesterday, highlight species as follows: -

3 Siamese Firebacks (a female photographed)

1 Green Peafowl (not at all sure if these recently reintroduced birds are tickable or not yet as very few totally wild birds are found in Thailand). Nevertheless this is a stunning creature to see, especially in a wild setting.

15 Ashy-headed Green Pigeons (same trees as previous day).

30 Thick-billed Pigeons. - These are pretty common generally (but it pays to check through them to see if they are in company with anything scarcer).

5 Green Imperial Pigeons

1 Malayan Night-Heron (The star find of the trip. This adult walked across the track in front of the vehicle and Dave managed to obtain a record shot through the vehicle windscreen). I continue to mistime my visits to Thailand and narrowly missed this species on both recent trips as passage birds appear to spend time in particular Bangkok parks and draw local birders/photographers who enjoy great views accordingly. - A major world tick for Paul as it would be for me.

2 Black Bazas

2 White-throated Kingfishers

8 Asian Green Bee-eaters

4 Blue-tailed Bee-eaters

2 Chestnut-headed Bee-eaters

2 Indo-Chinese Rollers

2 Dollarbirds

1 Banded Broadbill (photographed)

1 Blue-winged Pitta (same bird as previous day).

Cheers,

Mike P.

 

 



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17/05/2023 - (continued) Later the same day Paul and Dave started (at 15.30) a two hour session at a new site - 

Dong Yai Wildlife Sanctuary - Laloeng Roi Ru (also still in Buri Ram Province). Here they chalked up 35 species (and one other taxa deemed not tickable due to reintroduction status).

Notable species here were:-

6 Ashy-headed Green-Pigeons

40 Thick-billed Green-Pigeons

8 Green Imperial Pigeons

3 Crested Treeswifts

2 Asian Woolly-necked Storks (released birds)

2 Chestnut-headed Bee-eaters

3 Dollarbirds 

14 Red-breasted Parakeets

2 Blossom-headed Parakeets (seen by Dave only).

Cheers,

Mike P.

 

 

 



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17/05/2023 - 9.00 am - Dong Yai Wildlife Sanctuary. Khao Krapod (Bo Mee Ngam Ranger Station vicinity) Buri Ram.

A two hour session got the day off to a good start with 36 species, including:-

4 Crested Treeswifts

2 Black Bazas

2 Rufous-winged Buzzards

15 Asian Green Bee-eaters

4 Blue-tailed Bee-eaters

1 Collared Falconet

2 Blue-winged Pittas

4 Abbotts Babblers.

 



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15/05/2023 - 13.00 Huai Saneng Reservoir Surin Province.

Paul enjoyed a two hour twenty minute listing bash at this site en route for several days birding in Buri Ram (the south westernmost province in Isaan). He logged 53 species at this site and while nothing outstanding was noted the sheer spread of species added 7 new species for his own list for this province.

By 15.15 he commenced birding at Huai Sawai in Buri Ram logging 35 species in a 50 minute session; - best being: -

250 Oriental Pratincoles

10 Small Pratincoles

50 Asian Openbills 

7 Painted Storks

The following morning Paul met up at 11.00 am with Australian birder Dave Pennock at Huai Cherokhe Reservoir non-hunting area logging 43 species in a two hour spell, notably: -

400 Asian Openbills

6 Sarus Cranes ( re-introduced)

15 Painted Storks

1 Oriental Darter

20 Little Cormorants

1 Glossy Ibis

20 Asian Green Bee-eaters

Also of course many of the usual common species padding out the list with a good number new for Dave (who only commenced recording on Ebird recently in March).

At 15.10 they arrived at Chang Wat Buri Ram where in a final 50 minutes they recorded 11 species which included 5 Little Grebes and 4 Blue-winged Pittas (this latter boosting Pauls personal province records for this species of which he is so fond).

Cheers,

Mike P.

 

 

 



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11/05/2023 -11.40 - Huai Khee Lek, Mukdahan Province.

With the passage of marsh terns still uppermost in Pauls mind he headed out east from Yasothon for a sweep up three of these eastern provinces which border the Mekong River.

Still doing a full list (29 species) he logged at this site 15 Whiskered Terns and 4 White-winged and also obtained a decent photo of the quite common though normally shy White-browed Crake.

The following morning he visited the Huai Pho Royal Irrigation Project in Amnat Charoen and was rewarded with 15 White-winged terns which he scoped across the lake. As they were too far for photos he drove round to the far side of the lake only to find that they had departed.

Finally yesterday (13th) he headed north into Nakhon Phanom arriving midday to find 6 White-winged Terns keeping company with 12 Whiskered. An outstanding count of 5 Blue-winged Pittas was rather spoiled by finding one of them dead - hanging in a mist net set over the lake (photo attached).

Regards,

Mike P.

 



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10/05/2023 -Huai Chum Chang, _ Kalasin Province.

Midday saw Paul out to the NW from home engaged in a bit of list boosting up here where he logged 18 species in an hour and also spent time enjoying a passage of 40 Whiskered Terns.
Earlier he had travelled west into Roi Et where on 08/05/23 Shaun Green (the most active birder in that province) had watched 4 White-winged Terns at Laem Phayom. Last year at the same site (a day earlier on 07/05/22) Shaun had recorded 21 birds in 2 groups.
I am pretty sure that Paul has never seen White-winged Tern in Roi Et hence the reason for his visit and though he logged 16 Whiskered Terns at Laem Phayom not a single White-winged remained, so he moved on NW into Kalasin.

Just as Paul was about to leave for home he writes that 20 White-winged Terns flew in from the south so he was rewarded after all for his efforts - albeit in a different province to the one intended! 
A brief stop back at Laem Phayom en route home yielded 15 Whiskered Terns but still no more White-winged Terns for his Roi Et list. 
Cheers,

Mike P.



-- Edited by Mike Passant on Thursday 11th of May 2023 01:39:40 PM

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06/05/2023 - Local patch outing in Yasothon this morning.

 - A few portrait shots from the riverine forest along the Chi river area today where the Blue-winged Pittas are back on territory and Oriental Pratincoles in the nearby fields.

Cheers,

Mike P.



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18/04/2023 Phu Chong Na Yoi Nat. Pk. Ubon Ratchathani.

A belated photo from Paul and Pens camping trip down into Phu Chong Na Yoi, depicting a rather fine shot of the quite common Green-eared Barbet, which we hear very often in well forested areas (as the voice travels across hundreds of metres) though we seldom get photo opportunities or clear views as good as this.

Cheers,

Mike P.



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