Saturday, February 22, 2014

Back to Bahkplee, Nakorn Nayok

It had been a month and a half since I last visited this great site. Helge Sorensen from Denmark, a dedicated photographer from Denmark happily agreed to give the site a try. I had seen a number of good species at the site already and was curious how things had developed. 

On this morning the weather was rather odd. Gloomy and a drop in temperature. It is very warm in Bangkok now so to sit in the blind at 21C was quite pleasant. Some of the birds I had seen before never showed up: Bluethroat, Red-throated Pipit, Zitting Cisticola and Oriental Skylark to be precise. Instead there were 2 new ones and the 1st one was a surprise: Long-tailed Shrike.

This Paddyfield Pipit stayed with us during the entire 2 and half hours in the hide.

Happily the Rosy Pipit still showed well though not more then 3 times in the time we were there. The malars are now gone and some of the streaking on the flanks and breast have disappeared. I hope it stays another month.

Last month I finally after so many years of birding in Thailand saw my 1st Horsfield's Bushlark at this site.
Since then I have seen it at Thatorn as well.
Today I heard it sing and used a short burst of playback to draw it in. It never came to feed but was curious enough to briefly drop by twice. It is a lot paler then Indo-chinese Bushlark, the rufous in the wing is weaker and the white in the tail is prominent in flight. The song is also very different from Indo-chinese. Very happy to have seen and photographed it!

                                      Stejnegeri's Stonechat performed nicely.

                                                   Here is the female.

Lastly the Eastern Yellow Wagtail. I think this is a 1st year old male of the race M.f. thunbergi

                                After that all that remained was a drive to the airport.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Part 2

We spent a few days in wooded areas of Kaengkrachan and Khao Yai. We did not see any Pittas of Broadbills but many other nice forest dwelling birds. 

Orange-headed Trogon

                                            Bar-backed Partridge

                                             White-browed Scimitar Babbler

           While en route to Khao Yai we saw a resident form of Black Baza over open fields.

Khao Yai is the place you need to visit for Siamese Firebacks and they did deliver as they fed on fallen blossoms.

Silver Pheasent is a lot harder to find but the early morning gave us views of 9 birds in two groups.

The Barred Cuckoo Dove is ridiculously shy so it was a surprise that this one would post long enough for fairly close views.

                                                       Hainan Blue Flycatcher

                                               Siberian Blue Robin

                                     Ever so attractive: Orange-headed Thrush

                            And our annual little friend Mugimaki Flycatcher showed well.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

2 week trip! Part 1

In January I had the honor of assisting a German couple to 2 weeks of birding in Central and Northern Thailand. It is always so nice to be out with folks with passion and genuine joy for the birds themselves and yet striving for seeing as much as possible but without it becoming a frustration. 

We set out for the waders and ended up with over 40 species seen. I didn't use my camera much with the waders as much of my time was occupied with the spotting scope. 
During the boat ride out to the sand spit I had a chance to click away. Some great views of the Chinese Egret along the way. Note the smudgy bill and the green legs.

The tide had dropped enough for some larger gulls to congregate out there. Here is a pair of Heuglin's Gull at the spit.

                    Pallas's was also in the area as seen in this flight shot.

           The dark phased morph of Pacific Reef Egret is always a beauty to behold!

           Snipes can be very obvious at the King's project and this time I got a Pintailed Snipe in the open.