Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spot-breasted Laughingthrush

Here is the reason I did a 48 hour stint: Spot-breasted Laughingthrush.
Ever since I 1st saw it with Bob Sothman a couple of years back (my only time) I have dreamed of getting a picture of it since it has never been photographed in the wild and was missing in the OBI database. So when Mr Kamron told me of his find I simply 'had to go'..............I couldn't find a car to hire though in Chiang Mai since it was long weekend. I gave up the idea of going and went to Baktaley and the waders. While watching the Spoonies the phone rang and my dear wife informed me she had found a car for me. Wammo! Got the flight and off I went....and here is my hero!

Spot-breasted Laughingthrush is an extreme skulker but had been lured into view with the help of meal worms.

Now a couple month later it is still habituated and 'checking in' for some worm hand outs!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A week in Petchaburi

Kaengkrachan National Park and Petchaburi province
3-10th of March 2013.

James Phillips contacted me almost a year in advance of this trip. He wanted to make sure to visit at the optimal time of year and that I was available.

Along with James , a keen and driven birder from England, came his spouse, Jenny and friends Mark and Christine Taylor. Mark and Christine opted  for a slower pace during our time together and would take time off for leisure and privacy.  As it was, we strived to find as many species as possible without killing ourselves.
Day 1.
A rather late pick up at 9 am at  Amaranth Hotel (plush) and off to Muang Boran Fish ponds.
Since the area holds a great number of wetland birds I wasn’t too concerned about our late arrival except for seeing the White-browed Crake.  As it turned out we not onl y saw the WBC but also Ruddy-breasted.

The ponds were teeming with wildlife.  Not a still moment for a couple of hours. Loads of Pheasant-tailed Jacanas in breeding plumage, with a few Bronze-winged mixed in.  Several groups of Cotton Pygmy Geese gave full scope views. The now uncommon Striated Grassbird sang its song loud and clear from tree tops. Asian Golden Weaver in full breeding plumage added color. A lone Long-tailed Shrike was another beauty everyone liked.

After that we visited  Bangpoo pier and the many Brown-headed Gulls found there. I always enjoy picking out the few Black-headed Gulls mixed in and this time found a nice bird in full breeding plumage.

Our 1st views of Black-capped and Collared Kingfisher as they fed  on crabs and mud skippers was another great sighting.

We also took a little time to visit the bird watching tower in the mangroves and got some nice views of common birds not out feeding at the mud flats.

The drive to Lampakbia followed. Along the way we stopped by some paddies and a large body of water. Here we found a single Black-faced Spoonbill! What a great bird to see!
There were many Garganeys and Pin-tailed Ducks plus a few Northern Shovelers as well and some stunning Milky Storks in their nice pink plumage!

At around 18:00 we decided to give the last light of the day to look for  Spoon-billed Sandpipers!  And, guess what? We found one! There in the last light of the day we watched this iconic bird as it was settling for the night!

Night was spent at White Beach Resort, clean and spacious rooms with WiFi next to the beach at Chao Sumran. A good choice!

Day 2

After breakfast at 7-11 it was off for some serious Spoonie watching. The weather was very gloom and the mud dikes slippery. Atleast  it meant temperatures had dropped to decent levels so we didn’t complain too much. All throughout the morning we kept adding waders to our list though we were unable to find Nordmann’s Greenshanks. This led to much speculation as to their whereabouts.

Out on the sandspit we got all the target birds: Chinese Egret, White-faced Plover, Malaysian Plover and dark phased Pacific Reed Egret. Both Greater and Lesser Crested Terns showed and in general it was very pleasant being out on the spit.

In the evening we waited until the thousands of  fruit bats flew out of their roost in the mangroves. While waiting we observed literally thousands of Black Drongos and Little Cormorants coming in to roost.

A couple of large flocks of White-shouldered Starlings and many Blue-tailed Bee-eaters also came in to roost.

On the way out from the mangrove project  Indian Nightjars  kept us entertained. These birds have such cool sounds, like a bouncing ping pong ball!

Day 3.

Since we had dipped on the Greenshanks another morning was spent in search of them but to no avail. Weird! The list of birds seen kept growing though and everyone was happy.

A drive to Ban Songnok feeding station, near Kaengkrachan national park took part of the afternoon and then a few hours behind the stationary blind. Kalij Pheasant, Rufous-throated Partridges, Red Junglefowl, Lesser and Greater Necklaced Laughingthrushes kept us in awe. Many other smaller birds came to bathe and drink water.

The night and the following nights were spent at Banmaka Resort with its lovely and lush grounds.

Day 4-7.

Birded both lower and higher levels of Kaengkrachan National Park. Broadbills start to show well in March and we saw so many Silver-breasted Broadbills.  Long-tailed Broadbills already were nest building. A group of Dusky responded to play back and Banded gave good views.

There were so many highlites in the park that I can’t mention them all: Banded Kingfisher, Great Slaty Woodpecker at length, Ferruginous Wood Partridge, Black Eagle, Sultan’s Tit, Scarlet Minivet, Orange-headed Thrush, Orange-breasted Trogon, Blue-bearded Bee-eater, White-hooded Babblers, Ratchet-tailed Treepie, Rusty-cheeked Hornbills, White-tailed Flycatcher,  White form of Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Grey-headed Lapwings and Brown-backed Needletails.

One night was spent camping in hope of owls. For some reason the owls were not showing or calling so we had to settle for Great Eared Nightjar, Porcupine and Masked Palm Civet. It was still a great experience as we got the wake up with the sounds of nature in all its splendor!
Other very good mammals seen include the abundant Dusky Langur, a party of White-headed Gibbons with a female carrying young, Giant Squirrel, Northern Treeshrew, Fae’s Muntjac, Sambar deer, Crab-eating Mongooses, and best of all a herd of Gaur at close range.

Day 8. Off to Khao LookChang for the morning hours. This time it worked very well to see the Black-headed Woodpeckers. The forest by the temple is a remnant of former glory before the lowlands all were turned in to farm lands. Purple Sunbird, Lineated Barbets, Red-breasted Parakeets and Rufous Treepies all were added to the trip list.

Raptor migration had started and we watched many Grey-faced Buzzards and some Japanese Sparrowhawks flying and circling over the forest. Great stuff!

Then back to Lampakbia for one last desperate look for the Greenshanks. This time we had heard that they had started to make use of a pond not visible from the road.  After a little walk we got to the pan and sure enough there they were! Relief! Not only the Greenshanks were there but also half a dozen Asian Dowitchers. Amazing! This brought our tally for waders to 40 which is a very high number!

After that what remained was a drive to the airport where James, Geni, Mark and Christine left for Krabi in the South and further adventures!

All in all 300 species were recorded.

Images below from actual trip.

Bar-backed Partridge   x
Scaly-breasted Partridge x
Ferruginous Partridge   x 1 bird
Red Junglefowl   x
Kalij Pheasant x
Grey Peacock Pheasant   Heard
Lesser Whistling-duck   x
Cotton Pygmy-goose   x
Northern Shoveler x
Gargeny x
Northern Pintail   x
Little Grebe   x
Painted Stork   x
Asian Openbill   x
Black-faced Spoonbill   x 1 bird
Yellow Bittern   x
Black Bittern   x
Black-crowned Night Heron   x
Striated Heron   x
Chinese Pond Heron   x
Javan Pond Heron   x
Eastern Cattle Egret   x
Grey Heron   x
Purple Heron   x
Eastern Great Egret   x
Intermediate Egret   x
Little Egret   x
Pacific Reef Egret   x
Chinese Egret   x 2 birds
Little Cormorant   x
Indian Cormorant   x
Western Osprey x
Black Baza   x
Oriental Honey-buzzard   x
Black-winged Kite   x
Brahminy Kite   x
Crested Serpent Eagle x
Eastern Marsh Harrier x
Crested Goshawk   x
Shikra x
Japanese Sparrowhawk   x
Besra x
Grey-faced Buzzard   x
Black Eagle x
Common Kestrel   x
Slaty-breasted Rail   x
White-breasted Waterhen   x
Ruddy-breasted Crake   x
White-browed Crake   x
Common Moorhen x
Barred Buttonquail x
Black-winged Stilt   x
Pied Avocet x
Grey-headed Lapwing   x
Red-wattled Lapwing   x
Pacific Golden Plover   x
Grey Plover   x
Little Ringed Plover   x
Kentish Plover   x
White-faced Plover x
Malaysian Plover   x
Lesser Sand Plover   x
Greater Sand Plover x
Pheasant-tailed Jacana x
Bronze-winged Jacana   x
Pintail Snipe x
Common Snipe   x
Asian Dowitcher x   6
Eastern Black-tailed Godwit x
Bar-tailed Godwit x
Whimbrel   x
Eurasian Curlew   x
Spotted Redshank x
Common Redshank   x
Marsh Sandpiper   x
Common Greenshank   x
Nordmann's Greenshank   x 9 at LPB
Wood Sandpiper x
Common Sandpiper   x
Great Knot   x
Red Knot   x
Sanderling x
Red-necked Stint x
Temminck's Stint   x
Long-toed Stint   x
Curlew Sandpiper   x
Dunlin   x
Spoon-billed Sandpiper   x 3
Broad-billed Sandpiper   x
Ruff   x
Oriental Pratincole   x
Brown-headed Gull   x
Black-headed Gull   x
Gull-billed Tern   x
Caspian Tern   x
Great Crested Tern   x
Lesser Crested Tern x
Little Tern   x
Common Tern   x
Whiskered Tern   x
White-winged Black Tern   x
Rock Pigeon   x
Red Collared Dove x
Spotted Dove   x
Common Emerald Dove   x
Zebra Dove   x
Thick-billed Green Pigeon   x
Yellow-vented Green Pigeon Heard
Mountain Imperial Pigeon   x
Vernal Hanging Parrot x
Red-breasted Parakeet x
Greater Coucal   x
Lesser Coucal   Heard
Raffles's Malkoha   Heard
Chestnut-breasted Malkoha   x
Green-billed Malkoha x
Asian Koel   x
Banded Bay Cuckoo x
Plaintive Cuckoo   x
White-fronted Scops Owl x a pair
Collared Scops Owl Heard
Collared Owlet   Heard
Asian Barred Owlet   x
Great Eared Nightjar   x
Large-tailed Nightjar   x
Indian Nightjar   x
Grey-rumped Treeswift   x
Indo-chinese Swiftlet x
Germain's Swiftlet x
Brown-backed Needletail   x
Asian Palm Swift   x
Pacific Swift   x
Orange-breasted Trogon   x
Indian Roller   x
Oriental Dollarbird   x
Banded Kingfisher   x
White-throated Kingfisher   x
Black-capped Kingfisher   x
Collared Kingfisher   x
Common Kingfisher   x
Rufous-backed Kingfisher x
Pied Kingfisher x
Blue-bearded Bee-eater   x
Green Bee-eater   x
Blue-tailed Bee-eater   x
Eurasian Hoopoe x
Tickell's Brown Hornbill   x
Oriental Pied Hornbill   x
Great Hornbill   Heard
Wreathed Hornbill   Heard
Great Barbet x
Lineated Barbet   x
Green-eared Barbet   x
Red-throated Barbet   Heard
Blue-throated Barbet   x
Blue-eared Barbet   x
Coppersmith Barbet   x
Speckled Piculet   x
White-browed Piculet   x
Greater Yellownape   x
Streak-breasted Woodpecker   x
Laced Woodpecker   x
Black-headed Woodpecker x
Common Flameback   x
Greater Flameback   x
Bay Woodpecker   Heard
Great Slaty Woodpecker   x
Long-tailed Broadbill   x
Silver-breasted Broadbill   x
Banded Broadbill   x
Black-and-yellow Broadbill   Heard
Dusky Broadbill   x
Blue Pitta Heard
Golden-bellied Gerygone   x
Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike x
Ashy Woodswallow   x
Common Iora x
Great Iora   x
Black-winged Cuckooshrike   x
Brown-rumped Minivet   x
Grey-chinned Minivet   x
Scarlet Minivet   x
Brown Shrike x
Long-tailed Shrike   x
White-bellied Erpornis x
Blyth's Shrike-babbler x
Black-naped Oriole x
Black-hooded Oriole   x
Black Drongo   x
Ashy Drongo   x
Bronzed Drongo   x
Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo x
Hair-crested Drongo x
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo   x
White-throated Fantail   x
Pied Fantail   x
Black-naped Monarch   x
Asian Paradise-flycatcher x
Common Green Magpie   x
Rufous Treepie   x
Grey Treepie x
Racket-tailed Treepie   x
Ratchet-tailed Treepie   x
Eastern Jungle Crow x
Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher   x
Sultan Tit   x
Indochinese Bushlark   x
Oriental Skylark   x
Black-headed Bulbul   x
Black-crested Bulbul   x
Sooty-headed Bulbul   x
Stripe-throated Bulbul   x
Flavescent Bulbul   x
Yellow-vented Bulbul x
Streak-eared Bulbul x
Ochraceous Bulbul   x
Buff-vented Bulbul x
Common Sand Martin   x
Barn Swallow   x
Asian House Martin   x
Red-rumped Swallow   x
Dusky Warbler x
Radde's Warbler x
Yellow-browed Leaf Warbler   x
Claudia's Leaf Warbler
Arctic Warbler   x
Two-barred Warbler x
Pale-legged Leaf Warbler   x
Eastern Crowned Leaf Warbler   x
Yellow-bellied Warbler x
Claudia's Leaf Warbler x
Sulphur-breasted Leaf Warbler   x
AlstrÓ§m's Warbler   x
Oriental Reed Warbler   x
Black-browed Reed Warbler x
Thick-billed Warbler   x
Striated Grassbird   x
Lanceolated Warbler Heard
Zitting Cisticola x
Grey-breasted Prinia   x
Yellow-bellied Prinia   x
Plain Prinia   x
Common Tailorbird   x
Dark-necked Tailorbird   x
Large Scimitar Babbler x
White-browed Scimitar Babbler   x
Rufous-fronted Babbler   Heard
Golden Babbler   Heard
Pin-striped Tit Babbler   x
Brown-cheeked Fulvetta   x
Collared Babbler x
Puff-throated Babbler   x
White-crested Laughingthrush   x
Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush   x
Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush x
Oriental White-eye   x
Everett's White-eye   x
Asian Fairy-bluebird x
Velvet-fronted Nuthatch   x
Common Myna x
Common Hill Myna   x
White-vented Myna x
Asian Pied Myna   x
White-shouldered Starling x
Orange-headed Thrush   x
Oriental Magpie Robin   x
White-rumped Shama x
Dark-sided Flycatcher   x
Asian Brown Flycatcher   x
Verditer Flycatcher   x
Hainan Blue Flycatcher   x
Hill Blue Flycatcher   x
Tickell's Blue Flycatcher   x
White-tailed Flycatcher   x
Taiga Flycatcher   x
Blue Rockthrush   x
Eastern Stonechat x
Blue-winged Leafbird   x
Golden-fronted Leafbird   x
Crimson-breasted Flowerpecker x
Fire-breasted Flowerpecker   x
Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker   x
Ruby-cheeked Sunbird   x
Brown-throated Sunbird   x
Purple Sunbird x
Olive-backed Sunbird x
Black-throated Sunbird   x
Crimson Sunbird   x
Little Spiderhunter x
Streaked Spiderhunter   x
House Sparrow   x
Plain-backed Sparrow x
Eurasian Tree Sparrow   x
Asian Golden Weaver   x
Baya Weaver   x
Scaly-breasted Munia   x
Chestnut Munia   x
Eastern Yellow Wagtail   x
Grey Wagtail   x
Paddyfield Pipit x