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Blue-naped Pitta, 1st March 2022

 I am not quite sure how or when to begin this story. Back in the day when all I had was the birds in my garden and the fantastic illustrations of magical birds found in the field guide I could only dream of one day seeing them in real life. My life was restricted and very little opportunity to set out in pursuit of ‘imaginary birds’! Ha! Well, a long story cut short. Things changed and slowly I started to lay my eyes on the real things I had only seen drawn in literature. I remember my first Pitta, the Blue-winged, on an excursion to a waterfall with some rumbunctious kids but it didn’t stop me from seeing one crossing the pathway. (as a note, the late Jon Hornbuckle, who eventually saw all recognized Pittas of his day, told me his last one was the Blue-winged. Just goes to show how this rather ‘easy’ to see bird is not very easy unless you are in the right area at the right time.) So, here in Thailand we have a lot of Pittas. Some are regular, none are easy, and som
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Birding trips out of Bangkok!

Daytrips out of Bangkok The following are a few sites that I regularly take visiting birders to. I often do one site in the morning and another in the afternoon and sometimes even fit in one midday.  Depending on the time of year number of birds seen will vary. Most migrants are here from September – April yet there are others that only visit in May-August.  I find it very fulfilling for people on business or others with limited time circumstances to invest in a guided trip with someone that not only knows the birds but also how to get around and has years of experience living in Thailand. Fields of Latkrabang, Bangkok: My local patch and a gem in the city concrete with still rice fields and scrub present. The roar of the traffic in the background and airplanes lifting to the sky is subdued a bit and the birds present are clearly heard. Many a good wetland birds as well as warblers and other birds have been recorded. On a normal morning I average 70-80 species. 

Pelagic day trip out of Bangkok

 Pelagic day trip 5th of Feb, 2022. Seabirding in the upper inner Gulf of Thailand is not something I do very often due to the scarcity of birds at sea. But the times I have done it I have been rewarded in many ways. The norm is to join one of the regular whale watching trips that mostly draw the general public who want to see both whales and dolphins. But there are some trips that cater specifically to birders and targeting some rarities when they do show up. This was such a trip. Jirayu Ekkul the man behind https://www.facebook.com/wildencounterthailand contacted me and I quickly decided it would be a trip for me. As the boat did not have to go very far out to sea in pursuit of whales the time of departure was later then normal. We did not leave until 10:15 and during our time at sea never lost sight of the shore. It did not take long to get on to a pair of Arctic Jaegers which was my personal target bird as I previously hadn’t seen it in Thailand. We were informed that the Arctic Ja

Reasons for butterflies!

  Butterflies!   I think we all know that no matter how difficult the circumstances are there is always a silver lining somewhere. With the world gone mad I started to focus my attention to birding sites near home. I got to be more thorough in my immediate surroundings. My lists for Bangkok and Chonburi i.e. grew substantially. I did manage a couple of longer trips when restrictions were let up a little. That made me grateful for the things that sometimes have grown too familiar.   Then something inside of me told me to turn my focus towards butterflies. I have seen almost 900 species of the birds in Thailand, photographed almost 800 and recorded the sounds of many hundreds. Meaning that newness is harder to come about. But butterflies I know next to nothing about except that they are very attractive in an artistic way. I have from time to time taken the odd image but was intimidated by the lack of knowledge on my own part and simply brushed it aside as too much of a mountain to climb

North of Thailand, March, 2021, part 3

  Day 7. Chiang Dao   An early drive to Doi Chiang Dao and straight to a world renowned hot spot for butterflies. But first a stop at Malee’s Guesthouse for some homemade bread, jam and coffee. At the checkpoint butterflies come down for minerals on the graveled parking area. The rangers are used to folks coming for the butterflies. There is a bit of traffic as the road continues to Muang Kong at the border of Myanmar, a popular area to visit for the locals.  God forbid the parking area will ever get paved like so many other.    Club beak   Common Windmill Paris Peacock Banded Treebrown Common Jester Black Prince Blackvein Sergeant Pallid Fivering Indian Purple Emperor Puddling blues   I spend a good 6 hours around the area and accumulated many new species. I did keep my ears open as well: https://ebird.org/checklist/S83116174   Day 8. Doi Angkhang   A night at Fang for easy access to Doi Angkhang and Doi Lang. Phumanee Lahu Home Hotel was the hot