by Nick Upton
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Additions to the Thai Bird Checklist
Since publication of A Field Guide to the Birds of Thailand by Craig Robson in 2002 there have been a number of additions to the Thai checklist. Those that I am aware of are:

Confirmed Species

Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus - A male was seen over Thale Noi, in Pattalung province, on the 24th February 2001.

Long-tailed Wren Babbler Spelaeornis chocolatinus - Two pairs were located near the summit of the highest mountain in Umphang Wildlife Sanctuary, Tak province on the 24-25th April 2001, presumably they are resident there.
Chestnut-cheeked Starling Sturnus philippensis - Three were seen with a flock of both Purple-backed and White-shouldered Starlings at Na Tung, Chumphon on 27th October 2001 for the first time and have been seen at the same location annually. A few birds have also seen at Thai Muang in early 2010 and several following winters.

Mew Gull Larus canus - A single bird was photographed amongst the gull flock at Bang Poo on the 10th February 2002. Two more birds were seen at the same location in January/February of 2012.

Greater Scaup Aythya marila - Two birds were observed at Nong Bong Khai, Chiang Saen, on the 24th February 2002. Another was present at some point in Buriram and a female was photographed by many observers in January and February 2010 at Bueng Boraphet.

Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe ferrea - One was seen at Km 17, Kaeng Krachan in March 2003.
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Demoiselle Crane Grus virgo - One was seen in the company of a Common Crane Grus grus at Nong Bong Khai, Chiang Saen, from 31st December 2003.

Red-headed Bunting Emberiza bruniceps - Two female or immature birds were seen at Mae Taeng, Chiang Mai from 11th to at least 20th December 2004. There have been several other sightings around the country including one at Doi Saket in January 2014.

Red-billed Starling
(Photo by Chukiat Nualsri)
  Red-billed Starling Sturnus sericeus - Seen at Chumpon on 7-12th January and again on the 14th February 2005.

Lesser Black-backed Gull (Baltic Gull) Larus fuscus - A single, third-winter, bird was seen with Hueglin's Gulls at Laem Pak Bia from 21st October to at least 1st December 2005.

Red Phalarope (Grey Phalarope) Phalaropus fulicarius - One was seen at Pak Thale on 5 January 2006.

Large-billed Reed Warbler Acrocephalus orinus - One was caught by Philip D. Round whilst mist-netting at the royally initiated Laem Pak Bia Environmental Research and Development Project on 27th March 2006. This bird was recaptured almost exactly one year later at the same location and 1 bird was mist-netted in Chiang Saen in 2009.
Grass Owl Tyto Capensis - One was photographed at Mae Jan, Chiang Rai on 29th July 2006 and has been seen numerous times since, including confirmed breeding records.

Spotted Wren Babbler Spelaeornis formosus - One was both seen and heard singing at 1800 m on Doi Lang on 21 March 2007. There have been a number of consequent sightings at the same location.

Mekong Wagtail Motacilla samveasnae - I am not sure when this species was officially added to the Thai checklist, but it was certainly recorded long before it was split from White Wagtail. There have been a number of recent sightings from Ubon Ratchatani province where it is fairly abundant.

Little Gull Larus minutus - Once again I am not sure when this species was found but it was added to the checklist fairly recently and appears in the new Thai version of Boonsong Lekagul's Birds of Thailand.

Mongolian Gull Larus mongolicus - This "species" (?) was first seen at Laem Pak Bia by Ben King in 2003/4 and has been recorded a few times since. The new Thai version of Boonsong Lekagul's Birds of Thailand contains this species.

Slaty-backed Gull
(Photo by Alex Vargas)
  Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis - An individual of this species was present 25th December 2007 at Bueng Boraphet and was widely photographed over the following week. Three were seen in November 2008 at Chiang Saen as well as one more at Bueng Boraphet in early 2010.

Long-tailed Duck Clangula hyemalis - 2 individuals were seen and photographed by many observers throughout January 2008 at Nong Bong Khai, Chiang Saen and 2 more at the same location in January 2014.

Slaty-backed Gull Larus schistisagus - One first winter individual of this species was identified by Geoff Carey from a photograph taken by Alex Vargas at Laem Pak Bia sandspit on the 19th December 2008. This bird was also photographed on and around the same date by others.
Malaysian Hawk Cuckoo Heirococcyx fugax - Split from Hodgson's Hawk Cuckoo. A resident in the south and not uncommon.

Marten's (Omei) Warbler Seicercus omeiensis - This is one of the most common of the "Golden Spectacled" Warblers in Thailand but not incuded in Robson's Field Guide to the Birds of Thailand.

Rufous-bellied Swallow Hirundo badia - Split from Striated Swallow. This bird is very attractive and common around Krabi, particularly numerous around the limestone karsts common in the area.

Tickell's Brown (Southern Brown/Rusty-cheeked) Hornbill Anorrhinus tickelli - Split from Brown Hornbill. This species is found in the west of Thailand and is most easily observed at Kaeng Krachan.

Naumann's Thrush Turdus naumanni - Split from Dusky Thrush. A very rare passage migrant and winter visitor; I was lucky enough to see one at Kaeng Krachan in January 2014.

White's Thrush Zoothera aurea - Split from Scaly Thrush. A winter visitor to the north of Thailand to as far south as Kaeng Krachan.

Himalayan Bluetail Tarsiger rufilatus - Split from Red-flanked Bluetail. Both species have been recorded in Thailand although almost all sightings are of Himalayan.

Blue-naped Pitta Pitta nipalensis - One bird was seen and heard at Phu Suan Sai National Park, Na Haeo, Loei province ) on 1 March 2009. It was heard again and tape-recorded on 14th May 2009 at the same location. There have been several sightings of this species at this location since.

Fairy Pitta Pitta nympha - One individual was first seen on 11th April 2009 at Phuttamonton Park and stayed until 17th April being seen and photographed by many observers.

Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker Dendrocopos moluccensis - Photographed in mangroves at Ban Sala, Tambol Phiman, Muang District (Satun) on 15 November 2010 and seen regularly since then .

Northern Boobook Ninox japonica - One caught and ringed at Laem Pak Bia in April 2011. Looking back at old photographs revealed at least one more bird photographed at Sri Nakorn Kuan Kan park, Samut Prakarn. Several records since then have occurred.

Sooty Gull Ichthyaetus hemprichii - Photographed at Bang Poo on 13th April 2011 and present until at least 2nd May 2011.

Wallcreeper Tichodroma Muraria - Seen and photographed by several observers in March 2012 at Phu Chi Fa, Chiang Rai.

Javan Myna Acridotheres javanicus - A small population has established itself in agricultural land close to Sungai Kolok, Narathiwat province.

White-breasted Woodswallow Artamus leucorynchus - A single bird was seen and photographed at Kaem Ling Nong Yai, Chumpon, on 22nd April 2013.

Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita - A bird of the Siberian subspecies tristis was caught in a mist net at Nam Kam reserve, Chiang Saen,on 28th November 2012. A second bird was observed and heard calling at Thatorn, Chiang Mai province, on 20th January, 2014.

Bay-backed Shrike Lanius vittatus - Seen and photographed by many observers from January - March 2014 at the King's Project, Laem Pak Bia.

Collared (Common) Pratincole Glareola pratincola - One bird was found by visiting birders at Wat Komnaram, Pak Thale, in mid January 2014 and refound on 4th February 2014 after which it was widely photographed throughout that month and into March 2014.

Greater White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons - One bird reported from Beung Khong Long, Beung Khan province in early February 2014.
  Bird Watching Trips in Thailand:
You may not be able to find a new species for the Thai list but on an organized birding trip you will be able to see many of the harder to see species in the country.

Whether you just want a day out birding or a longer trip there is always something of interest to see regardless of the time of year.

Contact me to arrange a trip and/or to discuss the best birdwatching options for you:
Unconfirmed Species

Pectoral Sandpiper Caladris melanotos - A low quality photograph taken through heat haze of one individual of what may have been this species was obtained at Laem Pak Bia/Pak Thale on 21st November 2007. This record was not accepted by the Thai records comittee.

Long-billed Pipit Anthus similis - Extremely poor quality photographs of what is perhaps this species were obtained near Chiang Saen on 20th October 2007. This record was not accepted by the Thai records comittee.

Goosander Mergus merganser - A few potential sightings in January 2007 from Chiang Saen. These records have never been submitted to the Thai records committee.

Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni - One individual of what could have been this species was seen on numerous occasions hunting Barn Swallows on the Mekong, Chiang Saen in January 2008. The identity of this bird has been hotly debated and the record has not been accepted by the Thai records committee.

Great Snipe Gallinago media - One reported to have been flushed in the Chiang Saen area. Record either not submitted or yet to be examined by the records committee.

Jouanin's Petrel Bullweria fallax - One bird was photographed by visiting birders in January 2014 from the sand spit at Laem Pak Bia. The photograph is under the scrutiny of the Thai records committee to see whether this bird could be mistaken for other species.

Kessler's (White-backed) Thrush Turdus kessleri - One female was seen in a flowering tree at Doi Lang on 10th February, 2014. No photos were obtained but a field sketch made at the time and full description have been sent to the Thai records committee for their consideration.

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