by Nick Upton
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Bird Sightings (March 2009)
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22/03/09 : A female Merlin was observed hunting over the Mekong on 15th March and also present were more than 80 Plain Martins. - Mick Davies & Dowroong Damlamajak/Yonok Wetlands Project.

20/03/09 : On 19th March a pair of Black-and-yellow Broadbills were seen near stream 1, Kaeng Krachan and a pair of Oriental Dwarf (Black-backed) Kingfishers were found at stream 3. A single Ratchet-tailed Treepie was seen at Km 27.5, Kaeng Krachan on 18th March 2009. Migrating raptors at Kaeng Krachan included a Grey-faced Buzzard, a Japanese Sparrowhawk and an Oriental Honey-buzzard. Other interesting birds included Crow-billed Drongo at Km 27, 5 flyover Yellow-vented Green Pigeons at Km 27, Red-bearded Bee-eater at Km 33, 2 Long-tailed Broadbills at Km 31 and Collared Owlet at Panoen Tung campsite. On 17th March a pair of Black-and-red Broadbills was seen at Km 9, Kaeng Krachan, a Banded Broadbill at Bang Krang campsite and 3 Dusky Broadbills between streams 2 and 3.

On 16th March a single Spoon-billed Sandpiper was found at Pak Thale as was a Dunlin, whilst a leg-flagged White-faced Plover was present at Laem Pak Bia sandspit as was a Little Stint, 11 Lesser Crested Terns, 2 Chinese Egrets and 17 Greater Crested Terns; 50+ Blue-tailed Bee-eaters were seen at the sandspit on northward migration. 3 Pied Avocets were near the "abandoned building" and over 500 White-shouldered Starlings came into the roost at the King's project along with 700+ Blue-tailed Bee-eaters.

On 15th March more than 70 Glossy Ibis were present at Bueng Boraphet and a Darter colony held over 30 birds. 2 Siberian Rubythroats were found in mimosa scub next to the lake. The duck flock still consisted of 2000+ Lesser Whistling Ducks with around 100 Garganey. 1 male Tufted Duck, 3 Ferruginous Pochard and 5 Shoveler were also seen. Raptors at Bueng Boraphet included 1 Eastern Marsh Harrier, 2 Black Kites and 1 Greater Spotted Eagle.

3 days at Khao Yai produced a male Banded Kingfisher, 3 Red-headed Trogons, 3 Orange-breasted Trogons, a pair of Eared Pittas and a female Siamese Fireback Pheasant between 12th and 14th March 2009.

The above sightings from Kaeng Krachan, Laem Pak Bia, Pak Thale, Bueng Boraphet and Khao Yai were made by Nick Upton, Merl Arnot and Marty Arnot.

A visit to Phuttamonton park on 16th March turned up a male Orange-headed Thrush and a female Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker. - Michael Allen.

On 5th March 2009 a male Western Marsh Harrier was seen at Bueng Boraphet. - Erwin Hoebrechts & Kuntida Ittipron

On 4th March 2009 2 Greater Spotted Eagles were present at Bueng Boraphet whilst 8 Ferruginous Pochard were seen on the 4th and 3rd.

At Laem Pak Bia 11 Nordmann's Greenshank were counted on 25th February 2009.

The above observations from Bueng Boraphet & Laem Pak Bia were submitted by Erwin Hoebrechts.

09/03/09 : An immature Eurasian Blackbird was seen near Yonok Wetlands on 3rd March and a Water Rail was present from the 1st to 3rd. A Common Ringed Plover was present on the Mekong on the 2nd. Other interesting waterbirds in the Chiang Saen area between 22nd February and 1st March included Great Bittern, Gadwall, Ruddy Shelduck, River Tern and Jerdon's Bushchat. - Mick Davies & Dowroong Damlamajak/Yonok Wetlands Project.

08/03/09 : On 7th March 5 Spoon-billed Sandpipers and 1 Red-necked Phalarope were seen at Pak Thale. At the sand spit, Laem Pak Bia, a White-faced Plover, 3 Chinese Egrets, 5 Malaysian Plovers, 29 Great Crested Terns and 2 Lesser Crested Terns were found. At nearby salt pans a group of 50 Caspian Terns were roosting and 28 Nordmann's Greenshank were amongst a large flock of Great Knot. 1 Watercock and 1 Slaty-breasted Rail were amongst the crakes at the King's Project and 2 Painted Snipe were seen in nearby farmland. - Nick Upton, Srasri Phiromyothee & Bob French.

The highlight of a trip to Kaeng Krachan was a pair of Ratchet-tailed Treepies at Km 27 and a Red-bearded Bee-eater at Km 36 was also good on the 5th February. Other interesting birds included Great Slaty Woodpecker on the 6th and 4th February, 2 Black-and-red Broadbills, 3 Dusky Broadbills and 2 Banded Broadbills on the 6th, 2 Rusty-cheeked (Tickell's Brown) Hornbills on the 4th and a flock of 13 on the 6th February. A Collared Owlet was seen at stream 3 on the 6th February and a Collared Scops Owl was observed at Ban Maka on the 5th February. - Nick Upton, Srasri Phiromyothee, Aaron Offner et al.

1 Mangrove Whistler was seen at Mahachai Mangrove Resrach Centre on the 2nd March. At Muang Boran Fishponds a single male Asian Golden Weaver was close to being in breeding plumage with 2 Javan Pond Herons already in full breedign plumage. At the same same site 54 Cotton Pygmy Geese, 15 White-browed Crakes and over 200 Oriental Pratincoles were seen.

On the 28th February a pair of Kalij Pheasants were seen on the road around Km 23, Kaeng Krachan. At Km 34 a Rufous-browed Flycatcher was seen well and Km 27 turned up a pair of Long-tailed Broadbills, 12 White-hooded Babblers and a Black Eagle. At Km 12 a juvenile Grey-faced Buzzard was seen eating a lizard. A female Grey Peacock Pheasant was observed drinking from stream 3, Kaeng Krachan on the 27th February. Other interesting birds in the same area on the same date included 3 Great Slaty Woodpeckers, 3 Dusky Broadbills, 1 Banded Bay Cuckoo and 8 Rufous-cheeked (Tickell's Brown) Hornbills.

On 26th February 8 Chestnut Munias, a pair of Fulvous-breasted Woodpeckers, 6 Oriental Pratincoles, 1 Painted Stork, 1 Greater Spotted Eagle, 7 Black Kites and 4 Bluethroats were amongst the highlights at Tung Bang Jak. At the sand spit, Laem Pak Bia, a single White-faced Plover was found along with 3 Chinese Egrets, 1 Terek Sandpiper, 10 Lesser Crested Terns, 2 Malaysian Plovers and 49 Great Crested Terns. Also on the 26th at least 300 White-shouldered Starlings and 1000 Blue-tailed Bee-eaters entered the roost at the King's Project where 2 Indian Nightjars and 3 Painted Snipe were seen. 4 more Painted Snipe were seen in nearby farmland.

The above sightings from Tung Bang Jak, Laem Pak Bia, Kaeng Krachan, Mahachai Mangrove Centre, Muang Boran Fishponds were made by Nick Upton, Malcolm Goodman and Howard Joliffe.

On 7th February Maroon and Bamboo Woodpeckers were seen at Khao Sok. Also encountered were Buffy Fish Owl, Lesser Fish Eagle and Fulvous-chested Jungle Flycatcher. - Jorgen Eriksson.

10 Grey-headed Lapwings, 1 Oriental Pratincole and 50 Cotton Pygmy Geese were seen at Muang Boran Fishponds on 7th February 2009. - William Jones.

3 Bridled Terns were seen on the crossing to Ko Similan on 2nd February. On the island a Nicobar Pigeon, 8 Pied Imperial Pigeons and 5 Green Imperial Pigeons were found.

At Trang Botanical Gardens 1 Violet, 3 Asian Emerald, 1 Little Bronze and 1 Large Hawk Cuckoo were all seen on 31st January.

A Lesser Fish Eagle was observed at Tone Pariwat on 30th January and on the same date 1 Chestnut-cheeked Starling was seen amongst a flock of 50 Chestnut-tailed Starlings which also contained 2 Purple-backed Starlings and "sevral" White-shouldered Starlings at Thai Muang Marsh. Othe interesting birds at the marsh included Watercock, Purple Swamphen, Red-throated Pipit, River Lapwing and Eastern Marsh Harrier. The most remarkable sighting, though, was 9 White-faced Plovers on the beach at Thai Muang on the same date.

The above sightings from Thai Muang Marsh, Tone Pariwat and Trang Botanical Gardens were submitted by Stijn De Win/Birding2Asia.

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