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Bird Sightings (December 2006)
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30/12/06 : It would seem that December has been a good month in the Chiang Saen area. On the 29th, 72 Harriers were at the temple roost with 47 at the hill roost on the 28th. On the same day a Long-billed Plover was still present on the Mekong. On the 26th a 1st winter Pallas's (Great Black-headed) Gull was seen.

Earlier in the month a female Spot-billed Duck turned up with 10 young on the 14th and an immature female Northern Goshawk was present near the Mekong. The customary Great-crested Grebe was at the lake on the 10th December and a Black Stork was also seen. On the same day 206 Harriers were at the main roost and 1500 Red-throated Pipits were also seen roosting, having been first noted on the 20th November.

The above sightings from Chiang Saen were kindly submitted by Mick Davies & Dowroong Danlamajak.

Some excellent sightings from Doi Ang Kang on the 28th December include both Dark-sided Thrush and Scaly Thrush. Another report of Brambling on the same day was of 4 birds near the roadside military camp close to the Burmese border.  However, the real highlights were 2 "huge" vultures which came in about 50m over the observers from the north east before flying further in to Thailand. These two birds were tentatively identified by the observers (Johan Svensson & Rattapon Kaichid) as Himalayn Griffons. Three photos were obtained and are reproduced below.


(Photo by Johan Svensson)

Himalayan Griffon
(Photo by Johan Svensson)

Himalayan Griffon
(Photo by Johan Svensson)
Himalayan Griffon
(Photo by Johan Svensson)

Another interesting sighting at Doi Ang Kang, also on the 28th December, were two Black-headed Greenfinches, a male and a female, which were photographed in flight (See right).

The above sightings from Doi Ang Kang were submitted by Johann Svensson.

Black-headed Greenfinches
(Photo by Johan Svensson)

28/12/06 : A single male Scarlet Finch was seen at around 1700 metres at Ka Mu Phuket on the 28th: Asian House Martin and Dark-backed Sibia were also seen in the area.

At Huay Tung Tao on the 25th December 12 Grey Herons and 200 Lesser Whistling Ducks were present despite "ever-increasing" human activity.

On the 22nd a Black Eagle and a lone Pompadour Pigeon were observed at Mae Hia.

The above sightings from Ka Mu Phuket, Mae Hia and Huay Tung Tao were taken from Tony Ball's Birdwatcher's Diary blog with his kind permission.

27/12/06 : Between the 19th and 21st of December the highlights on Doi Inthanon were Slaty-bellied Tesia, White-rumped Falcon and Fire-capped Tit.

On the 15th December Bamboo Woodpecker and the seldomly recorded Pale Blue Flycatcher were observed at Doi Chiang Dao.

A few days at Doi Ang Kang between the 12th and 14th presented some good birds, with 2 Hume's Pheasants, Aberrant Bush Warbler, Scaly Thrush, Streaked Wren Babbler, Red-faced Liocichla, Grey Headed Parrotbill, and a couple of Daurian Redstarts.

On the 11th December both Thaton and Chiang Saen were visited. No Baer's Pochards were identified at Chiang Saen, although lots of Small Pratincoles were present on the Mekong. At Thaton Jerdon's Buschat was seen at the the "Water Tower Marsh".

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

26/12/06 : On the 21st December some very productive paddies close to Suphanburi held 3 Ruddy-breasted Crakes, 2 Watercocks, 53 Grey-headed Lapwings, 43 Pacific Golden Plovers, 120 Little-ringed Plovers, 17 Common Greenshank, 350 Marsh Sandpipers, at least 500 Wood Sandpipers, 3 Common Sandpipers, 45 Temminck's Stints, 5 Long-toed Stints and a single Vinous-breasted Starling. In addition a large roost of Swallows and Martins was found, containing around 25000 Barn Swallows, 1500 Sand Martins and 50 Red-rumped Swallows. - Neil Lawton.

Some interesting observations from Doi Chiang Dao between the 19th and 21st December incuded a Spot-bellied Eagle Owl about 100 metres before the temple and a Rusty-naped Pitta in the gulley trail. Higher up the mountain at Den Ya Kat the best sightings included 2 pairs of Hume's Pheasant, a Hodgson's Frogmouth heard at 8.30pm, 15 Long-tailed Broadbills, 6 Chestnut-bellied Rock Thrushes, a female Slaty-backed Flycatcher, 4 Rufous-bellied Niltavas and 4 Giant Nuthatches. - James Eaton, from the birding logbook at Malee's Nature Lovers Bungalows.

21/12/06 : An immature Common Kestrel was observed resting on an old haystack at Huay Tung Tao, Chiang Mai, on the 21st December, presumed to be warming itself upon the internal heat generated by the mass of vegetation.

A very infrequently reported species, Russet Sparrow (1), was seen well on the 20th at Mae Hia, amongst a flock of Scaly-breasted Munias. A Chinese Sparrowhawk was at the same location on the 18th December.

A Crested Goshawk and a Silver-breasted Broadbill were seen on the 14th at KM 16 on Doi Pui, a location that doesn't seem to get visited very often despite its close proximity to Chiang Mai.

The above sightings from Doi Pui, Mae Hia and Huay Tung Tao were taken from Tony Ball's Birdwatcher's Diary blog with his kind permission.

A trip to Khao Yai, lasting from the 14th December to the 20th December, produced the following sightings: a single Siamese Foreback Pheasant on the trail from HQ to Haew Suwat waterfall with White-crowned Forktail and Black-and-buff Woodpecker on the same trail: a Laced Woodpecker, White-crowned and Slaty-backed Forktails and two sightings of a Large Scimitar Babbler on the trail between Pa Gluai Mai campsite and Haew Suwat waterfall: a White-throated Rock Thrush on the trail between HQ and Nong Pak Chi grassland about halfway along the trail. Also on this trail were two Eared Pittas, 800 metres from the trail head, and 1 male Blue Pitta 200 metres further along as well as a single Orange-headed Thrush and a male Banded Kingfisher. Near Pha Gluai Mai campsite an Asian Emerald Cuckoo was seen. - Benoît Segerer.

A Red-rumped Swallow was photographed in Suan Rot Fai, Bangkok, on the 17th December as was a White-rumped Shama on the 16th. This was surely an escape from the nearby Chatuchak market. - Johan Svensson.

Newly published Recent Reports from October to early December 2006 (BCST Bull. Vol 23, no. 11) are now online on the Bird Conservation Society of Thailand's website. One of the most exciting species reported in this roundup is Brambling, seen on the 2nd, 9th and 10th of December on Doi Ang Kang. - BCST website for full report.

18/12/06 : Records from around Suphanburi on the 18th December include a single Wryneck, 3 Grey-headed Lapwings, 25 Pacific Golden Plovers, 2 Common Greenshank, 3 Black Kites, 2 Brahminy Kites, 3 Painted Storks and a lone Red Avadavat. - Neil Lawton.

A Hoopoe was seen at Hat Laem Sala beach, Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park on the 6th December. - Johanna Havelaar.

15/12/06 : Two Dollarbirds, a Black-thighed Falconet, 2 Black Bazas, 2 Peregrine Falcons, 2 Little Grebes and 6 Japanese Sparrowhawks were seen near some old tin mines near the Chao Fah foothills on Phuket on the 14th December. - Ike Suriwong (Phuket Birders Blog).

14/12/06 : Four "large" eagles, seen together, were identified, after some consideration, as Booted Eagles at another location on Phuket on the 13th.

The above sightings from Phuket were taken from Ike Suriwong's Phuket Birders Blog with his kind permission.

A dark morph Booted Eagle was seen in the rather perilous vicinity of a mist net at Thai Muang Marsh, Phang-Nga on the 13th December. - Stijn De Win

At Saphan Hin Recycling Centre, Phuket, a total of 25 species were seen on the 12th December. The most notable of these were Black Kite, 5 White-winged Terns and the resident House Crows.

The above sightings from Phuket were taken from Ike Suriwong's Phuket Birders Blog with his kind permission.

A trip to Muang Boran Fishponds on the 12th December turned up a female Watercock, 4-5 White-browed Crakes and both Bronze-winged and Pheasant-tailed Jacanas. About 20 Pintail Snipe were seen also.

On the 11th December "thousands" of Brown-headed Gulls were present as normal at Bang Poo. More interestingly a Frigatebird was seen over Sukhumvit Road at the entrance to the Bang Poo site. It was identified as either a Lesser or Christmas Island Frigatebird:

"It was a first year Lesser or Christmas Island Frigatebird. I only saw a Frigatebird with a yellow head, a thin black pectoral band and a white patch extending to the beginning of the wings."

The above sightings from Bang Poo and Muang Boran are from Benoît Segerer.

A juvenile Red Avadavat and four Oriental Turtle Doves were found at Huay Tung Tao, Chiang Mai, on the 8th December. A Plain Flowerpecker was at the same location on the 11th and a White-browed Fantail was seen there on the 13th as well as a male Pied Harrier.

On the 9th December a Great Barbet was seen at an unusually low elevation at Mae Hia, but the observer was most enthused with a good sighting of Black Eagle.

The above sightings from Mae Hia and Huay Tung Tao were taken from Tony Ball's Birdwatcher's Diary blog with his kind permission.

13/12/06 : 3 male Jerdon's Bushchats and a further pair were seen on Doi Lang, part of the Doi Pha Hom Pok region, on the 6th December. 3-4 Chestnut Buntings, a single Little Bunting and several Crested Buntings were present in the area too. - Peter Ericsson

09/12/06 : At Huay Tung Tao on the 4th December 2 male and 2 female Rosy Minivets were seen as was a flock of over 20 Long-tailed Minivets at an unusually low altitude.

Mae Hia, near Chiang Mai, seems to be a good place for raptors with 2 Rufous-winged Buzzards, 2 Oriental Honey-buzzards and a Crested Serpent Eagle on the 1st December. On the 4th there were 4 Black Bazas, 3 Crested Honey Buzzards, a Black-shouldered Kite, a Common Buzzard, a Shikra, a Kestrel and 2 Rufous-winged Buzzards! As if this wasn't enough a Grey-faced Buzzard turned up on the 7th.

The above sightings from Mae Hia and Huay Tung Tao were taken from Tony Ball's Birdwatcher's Diary blog with his kind permission.

07/12/06 : A number of late sightings include a White-throated Rock Thrush seen on Ko Yao in Phang Nga bay on 30th November. - Jonathan from USA.

Birds seen in Suphanburi province on the 15th November included Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker, 2 Stork-billed Kingfishers, 2 Blue-tailed Bee-eaters, a Large Hawk-cuckoo, Watercock, male Pied Bushchat, Spotted Owlet, breeding plumage Pheasant-tailed Jacana and 200 Red-wattled Lapwings in a single drying paddy along with 13 Grey-headed Lapwings. The same region revealed a Brahminy Kite and 3 Common Kestrels on the 1st December. - Neil Lawton.

Birding around Chiang Dao between the 19th and 29th November revealed a bumper crop of birds as usual. On the Nature Trail the best birds were 2 Scaly-breasted Partridges, Bamboo Woodpecker and 3 Asian Stubtails. Blue Pitta was seen on several occasions in bamboo near the highest point of the trail and Rusty-naped Pitta was observed on one occasion in a dry stream bed at the beginning of the trail.

The temple area was also productive with Bamboo and Bay Woodpeckers, Wryneck, 2 Violet Cuckoos, 2 Drongo Cuckoos, 2 Grey-backed Shrikes and 2 Collared Falconets. A pair of Streaked Wren Babblers were resident along the steps and an amazing flock of about 250 Green Pigeons feeding in fruiting trees up to the 22nd November included 20 Wedge-tailed and 35 Pin-tailed Pigeons amongst the Thick-billed. Along the temple gulley a pair of White-crowned Forktails were in their usual location. On the 25th November 5 Oriental Pied Hornbills were seen; Hornbills seem to be very seldom reported from the north. Other birds around the temple included Purple-naped Sunbird, Black-throated Laughingthrush and Grey-crowned Warbler.

Birding around Den Ya Kat was said to be poor but 2 male Hume's Pheasant were seen along the track to the substation as were 3 Giant Nuthatches in the same area. Most of the usual inhabitants were seen and in addition 7-8 White-necked Laughingthrushes were located along with Grey-headed Parakeet, Chinese Francolin, Black Baza and Slender-billed Oriole.

Birding around paddies to the south of Chiang Dao was fairly rewarding too with 32 Grey-headed Lapwings, Rufous-winged Buzzard, Common Kestrel and Rusty-rumped (Pallas's Grasshopper) Warbler. Other good birds were 4 pairs of Oriental Skylarks, Siberian Rubythroat and 2-3 Wire-tailed Swallows, a species not often seen in Thailand. A lot of other common open-country birds were also seen including a roost of about 200 White Wagtails at dusk.

All the above sightings from around Chiang Dao are from Neil Lawton et al.

04/12/06 : I'm spoiled with a large influx of sightings from the last few days of November and first few of December. On 26th November a record for the location of Thai Muang Marsh was 40 Grey-headed Lapwings. Migrant Starlings on the same day (and same location) were Purple-backed and 2 Chestnut-tailed Starlings with approximately 10 Orange-breasted Green Pigeons. Waterbirds included 20 Long-toed Stints, Oriental Pratincoles, Cinnamon and Yellow Bittern, 2 Watercock and a lunchtime stop at Thai Muang beach saw what was identified after much consultation of books and pictures on the internet as a Great Frigatebird. The observer informs me that he is further researching this observation and if he remains happy with the id. it will be sent to the BCST records committee.

At the Jungle Myna site near Krabi (Jungle Myna site), also on the 26th November, were 6 Jungle Mynas, 1 male Pied Harrier, 2 male Eastern Marsh Harriers and Red-collared Doves, which may sound mundane but this species is actually fairly scarce in the south.

The above sightings from Thai Muang Marsh and Krabi are from Stijn De Win.

A male Gurney’s Pitta was heard close to main track at KNC, between E and H trails on the 27th November and a Red-crowned Barbet was seen at the Crystal Pool. A single Black-thighed Falconet was close to the Emerald Pool. Other species were a Spectacled Spiderhunter at the coffee Coffee Plantation, a Banded Pitta heard giving an alarm call at the start of B trail with a Red-bearded Bee-eater also near B trail. 2 White-fronted Scops Owls were heard in a forest strip near TV-masts just beyond the turnoff for Morakot on Khlong Tom – Lam Thap road, with 1 bird seen sitting in a tree fork; a seldom recorded species.

On the 28th November, at KNC, a male Gurney’s Pitta was heard 3 times near the intersection of trails B and C as was Rufous-collared Kingfisher.

The above sightings from Khao Nor Chu Chi are from Jimmy Brashberg.

At Wat Tham Seua near Krabi, on the 28th November, Streaked Wren Babblers were easily found; apparently they are always there.

Canoeing on Chieo Lan reservoir at Khao Sok NP in the evening of the 28th produced a pair of Black-thighed Falconets, 2 Wallace’s Hawk Eagles, 1 Oriental Hobby, Grey-headed Fish Eagle and Great Hornbills. Birds heard but not seen were Rufous-collared Kingfisher, White-crowned Hornbill and Bushy-crested Hornbill.

A canoe trip on the reservoir at Khlong Mon, on the 29th November, inside Khlong Saeng Wildlife Sanctuary must have been a relaxing way to spot birds. A Green Magpie was seen where it was totally unexpected (take a look at the range map in Field Guides). Oriental Hobbies apparently are actually quite common in this area and one was seen, as were Oriental Pied, Great and Wreathed Hornbills. One Stork-billed Kingfisher was seen and Banded Kingfisher was heard. Other species heard were Orange-breasted Trogon, Banded Broadbill,Black-and-yellow Broadbill and Green Broadbill.

With the tide beginning to fall 1 Chinese Egret flew off from the roost at Laem Pakarang on the 30th November, there was also 1 Black-naped Tern present in a flock of approximately 200 Little Terns.

10 km south of Khuraburi a juvenile Greater Spotted Eagle soared above the highway on the same date (30th).

On the 1st December a tour around Phuket revealed 1 juvenile Greater Spotted Eagle, flying low above the fields and then perching in a bush, approximately 20 Grey-headed Lapwings, 3 River Lapwing, 2 Purple Heron and about 20 Black-crowned Night Herons at Phuket Ban Don paddyfield and marshy areas. There were also 9 Cotton Pygmy Geese on Laguna Hotel pond.

Chinese Egret stake-out on Phuket (Chinese Egret site) had 5 Chinese.Egrets, 2 Common Flamebacks, 1 Eurasian Curlew and another juv. Greater Spotted Eagle soaring above the hills near the airport (same bird as before?).

At Thai Muang Marsh a Peregrine Falcon was hunting above the marsh also on the 1st December.

At Tonpariwat Wildlife Sanctuary in Phang Nga province there were 2 Great Hornbills, Cream-vented Bulbuls, Dark-sided Flycatcher, 1 Black Eagle, Whiskered Treeswifts and probably the most noteworthy sighting were Silver-rumped Needletails, all on the 2nd December.

Near Phang Nga on the same day an immature male Von Schrenk’s Bittern was observed for half an hour doing it’s sneaky fishing between mangrove roots.

The above sightings from various locations throughout southern Thailand are from Stijn De Win.

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