Saturday, 20 February 2016

Introduction and Day 1

Central Thailand is a fairly well worn path on the global birding circles, so this trip report focuses more on the “what was seen/done” rather than the “where” – most sites are well known. We flew with Lufthansa (Heathrow to Bangkok via Frankfurt with the reverse home journey). We hired the services of Nick Upton ( for 6 days with a day either side – work and family commitments putting the constraints on the length of trip. We booked Nick over a year in advance – essential as he’s generally booked up some 12-18 months in advance. Nick arranged the itinerary based on our wish list – essentially Spoony and Broadbills (we knew the timing was not great for Pitta’s). – and all accommodation, etc. Nick proved to be a great guide and good company and worked hard to try to ensure we all got onto all of the birds as well as allowing us time to look at the other fauna. Food was excellent throughout. 

In simple figures, 292 species were seen by at least one member of the group, with a further 7 heard only’s. On top of that Nick had a couple more that none of us got onto. In addition we recorded 10 mammals, almost 50 butterflies and moths, 8 dragon and damselflies, 4 lizards plus odds and sods.

Day 1

We arrived at Bangkok at around 2pm. After clearing customs, collecting our baggage and Phil getting his spectacles returned to him after leaving them on the plane, we met up with the courtesy bus for our first nights’ accommodation at the nearby Miriya Boutique Hotel. 

After checking in and a quick change, we set about exploring the immediate vicinity, to get our Thai lists started. The first bird to make it onto the list was the diminutive Zebra Dove, quickly followed by Tree Sparrow. The exploration of a couple of side lanes, inc one alongside a canal, pulled in number of species including Crimson-backed Flowerpecker, Pink-necked Green Pigeon, Streak-eared and Yellow-vented Bulbuls, with Asian Openbill and Painted Stork’s flying overhead. This was the only place we found Coppersmith Barbets. A total of 25 species made it onto the list. For Rob, after missing the Goa trip, most were lifers. This was followed by our first foray into authentic Thai cuisine and Cheng beers.

Day 2

Day 2

The day the trip really started, as we were off to the wader Mecca of Laem Bak Pai and Pak Thale. We were met just after 5am by Nick Upton, our guide for the next 6 days, and were quickly speeding south out of the city. 

First stop was Pak Thale, and we quickly piled out of the minibus, set up scopes and wondered where to start as there were birds everywhere. Almost every pan was filled with Black-winged stilts and Marsh Sandpipers, with Lesser Sand Plovers, of both subspecies, and Red-necked Stints covering the pan banks.  A couple of toggers were already on site, but had not yet found the main prize. Working one of the even more bird filled pans, Bell quickly found the number one target, a Spoon-billed Sandpiper working the far bank. After getting everyone on to this rarest of waders, a further two were located closer to where we stood. Wow, 3 Spoonies, more than 1% of the entire global population.  With the main target in the bag, we could start to really take in the other species. Great Knot, Black-tailed Godwit’s, Bar-tailed Godwit’s, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin (a scare bird in Thailand), Redshank, Greenshank, Spotted Redshank, Kentish Plover, Grey Plover, Broad-billed Sandpiper, filled the pans while Whiskered, Gull-billed, Little and “longipennis” Common Terns hawked overhead. 

2 Osprey’s flew over while we settled into to scrutinise the large flock of Curlews, looking to see if we could pick up one of the endangered Far Eastern Curlews from the numerous Eurasian Curlews.  Close observation eventually revealed one preening, showing off its dark rump and darker underwings. Before we could all get onto it, it decided to resume its nap, but eventually at least 4 Far Eastern Curlews were found, without a single bird being flushed.  

Making our way to the mangrove view point, Temmincks and Long-toed Stints and Common Sandpipers were added to the list. It didn’t take long to get 2 Golden-bellied Gerygones and a Radde’s Warbler was a slight surprise, though the calling Dusky Warbler could not be located. It took a bit of work, going inside the mangroves to catch up with Mangrove Whistler, not helped by this particular individual giving a call that Nick was unfamiliar with.

Leaving Pak Thale after some 3hrs of excellent birding we slowly cruised the road down to Laem Bak Pai, stopping and checking over the working salt pans. A small group of Painted storks didn’t contain the Milky Stork that had been seen the previous day. A stop along a side “road” produced 77 Nordmann’s Greenshanks, and 3, distant, Terek Sandpipers. The wader list was boosted by LRP, Pacific Golden Plover, Greenshank and Avocet. A fly over accipiter defied identification. Eastern Yellow Wagtails and Richard’s pipits put in appearances while Bevan found our first Common Birdwing butterfly, somewhat incongruously, flying over the salt pans.  

With Asiatic Dowitcher missing from our target wader list, we headed towards the famous “abandoned” building were Nick had found a small group a couple of weeks earlier.  Unfortunately, these had vanished, but a lone Long-billed Dowitcher provided some compensation.

It was then off to Mr Dueng’s for lunch and a boat trip out to hunt for the remaining missing wader species.  After a delicious meal we boarded the small boat and set off down the river with gigantic Water Monitor Lizards crossing in front of us, Collared and Black-capped Kingfishers in the mangroves. It wasn’t long before we found our first Chinese Egret – going on to see at least 5 of these rarer herons. A Striated Heron which was flushed as we passed turned out to be the only one of the trip. 

After passing family groups of fishermen gathering shellfish from the bay, we waded across onto to the spit.  Working through the throng of Gulls and Terns roosting on the outer bar produced several Pallas and Heuglins Gulls amongst the Brown-headed, with the terns represented by Greater and Lesser Crested, Common and Little.  A Greater Sand Plover provided a good opportunity to check out the differences between it and the more numerous Lesser Sand Plovers.  A whimbrel was found, before attention was focused on the Kentish, Malaysian and the “White-faced” Plovers.

A single adult gull on a half submerged sandbar drew our attention. A very dark back, and bright yellow legs suggested that it could be the Black-tailed Gull that had been wintering in the area, though the bill did not seem to fit for that species. This impression was increased when it was joined by a Heuglin’s which was larger and paler backed. Our return boat trip took us past the sandbar and when the gull flew, any notion that it was a Black-tailed was quickly discounted as there wasn’t as much as a smudge on the all white tail. Posting pictures all brought the response of Heuglin’s, but it didn’t look like any of the other Heuglin’s in the area.

Back on land, we stopped off at a small fish pond, which produced 2 Baillion’s Crakes and several Pheasant-tailed and Bronze-winged Jacana’s. Eventually a couple of White-browed Crakes were found and at least 3 Yellow Bittern’s gave varying quality of views. A stop, about 500m up the road, produced better views of a Yellow Bittern along with excellent views of a Cinnamon Bittern.  Blue-tailed Bee-eaters hawked from overhead wires while we called in a stonking Stork-billed Kingfisher.  

From there it was off to Kaeng Krachen NP. The bird list for the day was over 100 species with almost all of the wader targets found.

Day 3

Day 3

Our 5:30 breakfast was interrupted by a calling Collared Scops Owl which was quickly tracked down. It was then off to KK and forest birding – could it be better than the previous day?  A large-tailed Nightjar taking off from the road was next onto the trip list before we entered the National Park.

Parking near km19, we piled out –our first target being Great Slaty Woodpecker. Nick quickly located the resident pair but only Mr Bell managed to get a view before they flew off.  That disappointment was soon forgotten as one new bird after another was found, all to the amazing backdrop of singing White-handed Gibbons. 

To our left, Greater and Common Flamebacks, Greater and Blue-winged Leafbirds, to our right, Black-crested Bulbuls, Black-naped Oriole, Heart-spotted Woodpecker and Green-eared Barbet, whilst behind us Grey-eyed and Stripe-throated bulbuls. A Black-thighed Falconet flew past and was eventually scoped sitting up on a distant snag.  A walk along the road produced our first Thick-billed Green Pigeon along with better views of the Heart-spotted Woodpecker.  The earlier miss of the Great Slaty Woodpeckers was corrected as the pair were watched flying overhead. 

A drive up to the second stream crossing produced little new except for a cock Red Junglefowl feeding at the roadside.  After parking up we walked up the road. The birding, however, was, at this stage, hard work. That was countered by excellent views of a couple of Gibbons. Birding highlight came in the shape of a Red-throated Bee-eater that was a surprise find this low down in the park. This was soon followed by a pair of Black-and-Yellow Broadbills. 

Making our way back to stream 2, an Orange-bellied Trogon called. Nick soon located the bird and this kick started another manic period as new bird after new bird was found.  A Buff-rumped Woodpecker followed by a Streaked-breasted Woodpecker. These were followed by our second, and third, Broadbill species. A pair of Silver-breasted was soon followed by a Banded Broadbill. The period was capped with an Austin’s Brown Hornbill feeding in the trees above us.

After a quick break to get our breadth back, Nick suggested we ride our luck and try for a Blue Pitta. There was no dissent for that idea and we followed Nick along an elephant track into the forest. A Hainan Blue Flycatcher and a small group of White-bellied Erpornis were noted before a quick blast on the tape produced a response from a Pitta. We gradually made our way to where the bird had called. Another call from the bird showed we were in the right area, but was clearly further back into the tangle of the forest. Nick set of alone to see if he could locate the bird.  Up to this point, as with all Pitta hunting expeditions, we had kept all noise to a minimum. Suddenly Nick, who was about 25 into the forest, shouted out he had the Pitta and we should get to him as fast as possible. The ensuing crashing through the understory must have surely scared off the Pitta. But no. There it was, gradually making its way deeper into the forest but stopping every now and then to check us out. A dazzling gem of bright blue, with a flash of bright orange at the rear of the head. A tidy bird indeed. It was a happy group that made their way back to the road, to pick up Blue-bearded Bee-eaters. And all this before lunch!

We returned to the lower camping site for lunch, bore we were due to head up to the upper reaches of the park for the afternoon. After lunch we met up with the current star of World birding, Arjan Dwarshuis, a Dutch birder currently trying to beat the world year list. He was a really nice guy who was enthusing over the mammals he’d seen in the previous 24hrs – Leopard, 2 species of Porcupine and a Sloth Bear as well as a Bay Owl.  I’m not sure whether he would have been as pleasant if he had found out we’d had a Blue Pitta less than an hour previously as it later transpired he’d spent some 4 hours that morning staking out one without success.

 To reach the upper parts of the park, you need to take a ride up in an 4x4 pick up as the road is rough and very steep in places.  We didn’t go all the way to the upper campsite (leaving that for a couple days) stopping a few km’s short. Almost immediately after disembarking from the pickup we were onto some good birds. White-crested Laughingthrushes were heard and while trying to call them in a Rufous-browed Flycatcher was found low in a roadside tangle. The Laughingthrushes didn’t show but a Grey Peacock-pheasant started to call close by. Whilst Mike managed to get some good views and Rob only managed a brief view of the head, no one else managed to get onto the bird. Frustrating, but typical forest birding. Further proof of how frustrating birding in the forest can be came minutes later when a Banded Kingfisher called almost right above us. Phil and Rob managing to get onto the bird before it flew off.

More luck was had with a mixed warbler flock where Sulphur-bellied and Yellow-browed Warblers were noted by all. One of the key target species at this altitude is the Ratchet-tailed Treepie. This species is often found following Babbler and Laughingthrush flocks, particularly Collared Babblers. So when Collared Babblers were heard working through the forest everyone was on high alert for the Treepie. Unfortunately the flock consisted of Collared Babblers and Black-throated- Laughingthrushes and accompanying Ashy Drongo’s. 

With no Ratchet-tailed Treepie it looked like our luck was running out, and it was a slightly quiet journey back to the lower camp.... until... there on the road before us, the un-mistakable shape of a large cat. LEOPARD! screamed Phil, and it promptly disappeared into the jungle. Our driver, however, knew that it was unlikely to have gone too far so he slowly drove to where it disappeared and there, less than two feet from the vehicle lay the leopard.  For a few moments, there we were looking straight into the eyes of this magnificent beast. Those of us in the open back of the pickup were no more than 4m from the cat and those closest were less than 2m. Then, before we could get the camera’s up, it was gone.  A couple of minutes later it was seen walking up the road and round the corner.

The rest of the journey down was a bit of a blur as we tried to bring ourselves back to earth.  A Red Muntjac crossed our path near the 2nd stream crossing. A stop by km 19, where we started the day, we watched a number of Woodpeckers coming into roost, including a Greater Yellownape. We also managed to spotlight an Asian Barred Owlet but the calling Brown Boobook and Great Eared Nightjars could not be located.

All in, all of the group felt that today proved to be their best day ever birding. Even Nick was of the view that it was a very special day at KK.

Day's 4 and 5

Day 4

After yesterday’s excitement and successes expectation was for a much quieter and slower day. It certainly started that way as several attempts to locate a Black-and-Red Broadbill failed to produce anything. Arriving at the lower campsite we explored the Youth Campsite area and were rewarded with Sultan Tit, Drongo Cuckoo (both square and forked tailed varieties), Violet Cuckoo, Black-naped Woodpecker, Green-billed Malkoha and a Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo. Eventually, a pair of Black-and-Red Broadbill’s were located.

For the afternoon we visited the Lung Sin waterhole hides, outside of the Park. This started of very quietly with little activity. A group of Racket-tailed Treepies dropped in but were clearly wary and agitated and soon disappeared. A short time later Nick heard a sound virtually by his foot and looked down to see a rather large snake slip away, just the other side of the hide canvas.  Within minutes the squirrels and Tree-shrews were active around the pool and birds started to arrive. A pair of Red Junglefowl were followed by a pair of Scaly-breasted Partridges. However all were still wary and didn’t stay long.

A troop of Greater and Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush arrived and signalled another flurry of activity, with the stars being a pair of Kalij Pheasant followed by a pair of Bar-backed Partridges. A second cock Red Junglefowl wandered into view before being spooked and disappearing. Passerines were represented by Puff-throated Babbler and Brown-cheeked Fulveta’s

A female flycatcher flew but not the expected Tickell’s Blue as it lacked any bluish tones to the tail, a female Blue-throated Blue Flycatcher.  It was soon flushed by male and female Tickell’s Blue.  Then, suddenly, next to the pool stood a female Siberian Blue Robin, which was quickly replaced by a 1st winter male. Within minutes a superb full adult male Siberian Blue Robin was there in front of us. In total, at least 6 Siberian Blue Robins, inc 2 adult males, visited over the next 30-40 minutes.

Not to be outdone, the local species hit back with a White-browed Scimitar Babbler showing spectacularly well.

Suddenly, a Crested Goshawk flew straight through scattering every bird.  Unfortunately most of us missed it as flew through, but the Besra that flew through a few minutes later was seen by more.

Day 5

A final morning in KK before heading back to the coastal plain. This time it was straight up to the upper reaches of the park, walking the road a little short of the upper campsite. A pair of Bay Woodpeckers were called in before a flock of warblers led to the discovery of a Long-tailed Broadbill.  Almost immediately we became aware of a passing flock of Collared Babblers, so were on Treepie alert. The flock was found and after a few minutes a Ratchet-tailed Treepie was located, then almost immediately lost. A second was found by Phil a short time later, this one giving prolonged views allowing all to get onto it.

It was then up to the upper camp site where a Taiga Flycatcher was calling and hunting near the entrance. A Feral Pigeon sitting on one of the building roofs was a site tick for Nick. While various viewpoints provided spectacular views of the surrounding forest and mountains the birding was slow. A pair of Scarlet Minivets flew past and a Brown Shrike showed well, but a calling Streaked Spiderhunter couldn’t be located. A spell of raptor watching produced a singles of Black Eagle, Mountain Hawk Eagle, Crested Goshawk and Shikra. Great, Blue-throated and Blue-eared Barbets showed well.

Heading back to the lower campsite, we returned to our vehicle and headed back up to the area between stream’s 2 and 3. Birding remained slow, not helped by the fact that most of the group managed to stand very close to an ants nests and as a result spent some time trying to remove ants from their person. Most unfortunate was Mike who literally ended up with ants in his pants, much to the amusement of everyone else.

Butterflies took over as a fresh pile of elephant dung attracted swarms of the colourful insects.  Back at the lower campsite for lunch and again it was the butterflies that took the main interest as they swarmed to drink salts at the stream crossing.

After lunch, and with diminishing returns from KK, it was decided to head back to Petchaburi a little earlier than planned and check out the rice fields and raptor roost.

Almost immediately on arriving at the rice fields the first raptors were noted – a distant harrier proved to be a ring-tailed Pied Harrier. Piling out of the minibus, Black-eared, Black-winged and Brahimy Kites were noted before a Greater Spotted Eagle was found. This eagle was suddenly mobbed by an immature Steppe Eagle. Unfortunately the Pied Harrier kept distant and quickly disappeared. Nice to get, but an adult male is the ultimate in Harriers. An Eastern Marsh Harrier appeared carrying prey – looked like a rat – which it dropped. Almost immediately, the Greater Spotted Eagle swooped down to claim the prize. Within 10 minutes, no fewer than 4 of the eagles were trying to locate/take ownership of the harrier’s former prey.  A Black Kite drifted over in the company of a Black-eared Kite, allowing a good comparison between the two taxa.

A little down the road, a farmer was burning a field, so we decided to check it out to see if it was brining in raptors, etc. Unfortunately no raptors were to be found, but House Sparrows and White-rumped Munia’s were new for the trip.

Changing focus onto the paddies, Grey-headed Lapwings were added to our already impressive wader list, along with Common Snipe – all seen were clearly common rather than Pin-tailed.  A pool produced 3 Cotton Pygmy Geese and, to the relief and joy of Mr Bevan, 3 Coot, a bit of a rarity this far south in Thailand.

Whilst working through this pond Nick heard a Siberian Rubythroat in the ditch behind us.  A little playback and it appeared on the top of a roadside bush. Unfortunately only Bevan managed to get onto it before it dropped out of sight. What followed was a fraughtful 15-20 minutes trying to coax this most wanted of Sibe’s to show itself. Eventually we all managed to get crippling views of an adult male, its iridescent gorget glowing in the undergrowth.  Fly over Black-headed Ibis and Oriental Pratincole, just didn’t get a look in.

Flushed with that success, we wandered back to view the pond. Next to it was a paddy in the process of drying out and was full of birds. Dozens of egrets (4 spp) herons, waders including our first Ruff, and Eastern Yellow Wagtails.

Raptors seemed to have disappeared, with only the occasional Black-eared or Brahimy Kite being noted, as we made our way to the main view point to watch the harriers coming into roost. An Eastern Marsh Harrier was first to show, and over the next hour or so, around 20 of these came in to roost.  But it was Pied Harriers we were after. First a ring-tailed floated in, followed by a second, and a third. The light was going when Nick picked up an adult male Pied Harrier coming in with a male Eastern Marsh Harrier. We didn’t get to watch this grey and white beauty for long as it quickly dropped into the roost. A few minutes later Mike picked up a second adult male Pied Harrier, this one dropping quickly, but in a place where we could comfortably scope it. Eventually it got up and drifted to the main roost site, giving great views. A great end to another great day.

Day's 6 - 8

Day 6

We started the day at Khao Luk Chang, a remnant area of dry Dictocarpus forest south of Petchaburi. A calling Lineated Barbet was picked up as soon as we exited the minibus. As we walked over to the trail entering the forest a singing Hoopoe was noted.  Not far into the forest, a Spotted Owlett called but could not be located even though we must have been almost directly beneath it.  A pair of Rufous Treepies worked through just below the canopy and made its way onto our trip list.

Black Baza was a raptor we all hoped to see, but we knew that it was unlikely as they are mainly a passage migrant and it was too early for any northward migration, so we knew our chances were slim. So when Mr Bell picked up the rear view of a black and white raptor sitting in the tree tops he hardly dared believed it was a Baza. However, it was and it gave great views.  Shortly after, a Spotted Owlett gave itself up.

One of the main species birders visit this forest for is the Black-headed Woodpecker. And it wasn’t long before we were chasing a pair through the forest before they gave great scope views. An open area near a dry stream provided a numerous Red-wattled Lapwings, several Green Bee-eaters and a Taiga Flycatcher. However it was an over wintering Forest Wagtail that was our quarry and it wasn’t long before one was scoped, feeding around the bases of the scrub. A second Black Baza was then found - this giving front on views. The only downer for this site was that no Red-breasted Parakeets were found, or even heard.

From Khao Luk Chang, we headed back up to Petchaburi  and out to the rice fields and salt pans to try to track down our missing target waders- Asian Dowitcher and Oriental Pratincole. After a few ponds and pans, we hit the jackpot. Pulling over next to a pool teeming with waders, we piled out and, unbelievably the group nearest to us appeared to be almost all Asian Dowitchers. &3 were counted – one of Nick’s highest counts ever in Thailand. But it didn’t end there, immediately behind us another 30 odd Asian Dowitchers were counted, before another 15 or so dropped in. Were these from the first group? A quick recount showed they weren’t as this group had grown to over 100. Wow, about 150 Asian Dowitchers and definitely Nick’s highest count in Thailand and one of the highest he was aware of.  However it didn’t end there, as it became clear that many of the more distant waders were also Dowitchers.  In total Nick counted 453 Dowitchers, but we all agreed that this was a conservative number with many distant groups, almost certainly mainly Dowitchers but too distant to count/separate. In all the actual number was probably close to 700, if not exceeding that.

A couple of enormous Spot-billed Pelicans dropped in – the first of those returning from their breeding grounds in Cambodia. Bell had previously seen the species at Mai Po in the early 90’s when this was a critically endangered species (probably more endangered than Spoon-billed Sandpiper at that time). But the political changes, particularly in Cambodia, has allowed the species to recover to the extent that flock of over 1000 can regularly be found. Again highlighting that giving wildlife the chance, and space, to recover and they will.

Flushed with our success, we returned to a fish pond we visited on day 2, this time looking for a species close to extinction in this part of Thailand – the Long-tailed Shrike. It didn’t take long before we were enjoying wonderful views of this colourful shrike.  A little further along we stopped to try our luck with Pallas Grasshopper Warbler. Almost immediately, one responded, but typically remained firmly hidden at the base of reeds and bushes. While waiting for the PG tips to show, a Bluethroat hopped onto the path. Eventually the PG tip showed briefly but only Bell got satisfactory views. We all, however, managed our best views yet of Black-browed Reed Warbler – a bird we heard in many places but had struggled to actually see.

It was then on the hunt for Oriental Pratincole. Nick tried a couple of sites he knew were regularly used by the Prat’s but none could be found. We did, however, pick up Oriental Skylark, Plain-backed Sparrow, Lesser Whistling Ducks and Speckled-breasted Woodpecker.

We finished the day at the Kings Project, where White-winged Black Terns were quickly added to the list. Any thoughts of staking out the regular ditch for Ruddy-breasted Crake and Slaty-breasted Rail were scuppered as the guide for a tour party was walking through the ditch – we later noted that it was almost completely dried out, so was unlikely to have held either species. Driving round the ponds, Rob spotted a close Snipe which allowed close scrutiny. Square head, relatively short bill. Looking good for a Pintail. It flew a short distance, but crucially didn’t allow sight of its underwing, though it didn’t appear to show much of a white trailing edge to the secondaries. In trying to relocate the snipe a male Greater Painted Snipe was found, showing well. The Snipe was relocated and whilst showing well didn’t give us the key features until it took off to show a very white underwing and a prominent white trailing edge – a Common after all, and showing exactly why it’s difficult to separate the species on the ground. 

We pulled up awaiting the starling roost – hoping for White-shouldered Starling – and the flight of Lyle’s Flying Foxes from their roost in the mangroves. A chance glance down a ditch provided extended views of up to two Ruddy-breasted Crakes. As it was getting dark, a small group of White-shouldered Starlings arrived, perching up in a nearby bush, before flying off to roost. More groups flew straight into the roost, before the Flying Foxes emerged. There massive bulk being obvious when they flew directly overhead. Finally several Indian Nightjars were spotlighted before we returned to our accommodation.

Day 7

Our last day with Nick. We decided at one more try for Oriental Pratincole before we headed back to Bangkok. As with the previous day, no sign of the Pratincoles but we did add Indochinese Bushlark, Yellow-bellied Pirina and Peregrine to the trip list as well as another Ruddy-breasted Crake, Greater Painted Snipe and 2 more Baillion’s Crakes. We obtained better views of Speckled-breasted Woodpecker.

Cutting our losses Nick suggested trying a site he’s rarely visited, a reservoir near Ratchiburi. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, so we were happy to go along with the suggestion, but asked for one more shot at PG Tips. After a couple of goes we struck gold with a Pallas Grasshopper Warbler showing well to all.

Arriving at the reservoir, it was clear that drought was having a major impact with the water levels very low. Our first stop produced our first Paddyfield Pipit of the trip. We made our way round to the back end of the reservoir and immediately hit the birds. Several hirundines includes a Striated Swallow, a distant Pied kingfisher was noted, we were to get good views of a pair soon afterwards. Pratincoles could be heard, but not seen so we headed out looking for them. Amongst the plentiful Paddyfield Pipits we found several Red-throated Pipits. Over a small ridge we found around 100 Small Pratincoles and we spent ages enjoying these. A further, unsuccessful, stop to try for Buttonquails and Rain Quails added our last species with Nick – Grey-breasted Pirina, before we headed back to Bangkok.

Day 8

Our final day certainly had that feel of “after the Lord Mayors show” as we all slept late even though we were not flying out till almost midnight. A mid morning walk following a similar route to that we took on our first afternoon produced low numbers of birds, with only Greater Coucal being added to the trip list.

the bird list

1. Lesser Whistling Duck  Dendrocygna javanica
2. Shelduck  Tadorna tadorna
3. Cotton Pygmy Goose  Nettapus coromandelianus
4. Pintail  Anas acuta
5. Garganey  Anas querquedula
6. Bar-backed Partridge  Arborophila brunneopectus
7. Green-legged (Scaly-breasted) Partridge  Arborophila chloropus
8. Red Junglefowl  Gallus gallus
9. Kalij Pheasant  Lophura leucomelanos
10. Grey Peacock-Pheasant  Polyplectron bicalcaratum
11. Little Cormorant  Microcarbo niger
12. Indian Cormorant  Phalacrocorax fuscicollis
13. Oriental Darter Anhingamelanogaster
14. Yellow Bittern  Ixobrychus sinensis
15. Cinnamon Bittern  Ixobrychus cinnamomeus
16. Black-crowned Night-heron  Nycticorax nycticorax
17. Striated Heron  Butorides striata
18. Chinese Pond Heron  Ardeola bacchus
19. Eastern Cattle Egret  Bubulcus coromandus
20. Intermediate Egret  Egretta intermedia
21. Little Egret  Egretta garzetta
22. Pacific Reef Heron  Egretta sacra
23. Chinese Egret  Egretta eulophotes
24. Spot-billed Pelican  Pelecanus philippensis
25. Great White Egret  Ardea alba
26. Grey Heron  Ardea cinerea
27. Purple Heron  Ardea purpurea
28. Painted Stork  Mycteria leucocephala
29. Asian Openbill  Anastomus oscitans
30. Black-headed Ibis  Threskiornis melanocephalus
31. Little Grebe  Tachybaptus ruficollis
32. Black Baza  Aviceda leuphotes
33. Crested Honey Buzzard  Pernis ptilorhynchus
34. Black-winged Kite  Elanus caeruleus
35. Black Kite  Milvus migrans migrans
36. Black-eared Kite  Milvus migrans lineatus
37. Brahminy Kite  Haliastur indus
38. Crested Serpent Eagle  Spilornis cheela
39. Eastern Marsh Harrier  Circus spilonotus
40. Pied Harrier  Circus melanoleucos
41. Crested Goshawk  Accipiter trivirgatus
42. Shikra  Accipiter badius
43. Besra  Accipiter virgatus
44. Black Eagle  Ictinaetus malayensis
45. Spotted Eagle  Aquila clanga
46. Steppe Eagle  Aquila nipalensis
47. Rufous-bellied Hawk-Eagle  Lophotriorchis kienerii
48. Mountain Hawk-Eagle  Nisaetus nipalensis
49. Osprey  Pandion haliaetus
50. Black-thighed Falconet  Microhierax fringillarius
51. Kestrel  Falco tinnunculus
52. Peregrine Falco perigrinus
53. Ruddy-breasted Crake  Porzana fusca
54. White-browed Crake  Porzana cinerea
55. Baillon's Crake  Porzana pusilla
56. White-breasted Waterhen  Amaurornis phoenicurus
57. Moorhen  Gallinula chloropus
58. Coot  Fulica atra
59. Black-winged Stilt  Himantopus himantopus
60. Avocet  Recurvirostra avosetta
61. Small Pratincole  Glareola lactea
62. Little Ringed Plover  Charadrius dubius  curonicus
 Charadrius dubius jerdoni
63. Kentish Plover  Charadrius alexandrinus
64. White-faced Plover Charadrius (a) dealbatus
65. Malaysian Plover  Charadrius peronii
66. Lesser Sand Plover  Charadrius mongolus mongolus
 Charadrius mongolus atrifrons
67. Greater Sand Plover  Charadrius leschenaultii
68. Greater Painted-snipe  Rostratula benghalensis
69. Pheasant-tailed Jacana  Hydrophasianus chirurgus
70. Bronze-winged Jacana  Metopidius indicus
71. Pacific Golden Plover  Pluvialis fulva
72. Grey Plover  Pluvialis squatarola
73. Grey-headed Lapwing  Vanellus cinereus
74. Red-wattled Lapwing  Vanellus indicus
75. Great Knot  Calidris tenuirostris
76. Sanderling  Calidris alba
77. Red-necked Stint  Calidris ruficollis
78. Temminck's Stint  Calidris temminckii
79. Long-toed Stint  Calidris subminuta
80. Curlew Sandpiper  Calidris ferruginea
81. Dunlin  Calidris alpina
82. Spoon-billed Sandpiper  Eurynorhynchus pygmeus
83. Broad-billed Sandpiper  Limicola falcinellus
84. Ruff  Philomachus pugnax
85. Pin-tailed Snipe  Gallinago stenura
86. Snipe  Gallinago gallinago
87. Long-billed Dowitcher  Limnodromus scolopaceus
88. Asian Dowitcher  Limnodromus semipalmatus
89. Black-tailed Godwit  Limosa limosa
90. Bar-tailed Godwit  Limosa lapponica
91. Curlew  Numenius arquata
92. Eastern Curlew  Numenius madagascariensis
93. Whimbrel  Numenius phaeopus
94. Terek Sandpiper  Xenus cinereus
95. Common Sandpiper  Actitis hypoleucos
96. Spotted Redshank  Tringa erythropus
97. Greenshank  Tringa nebularia
98. Nordmann's Greenshank  Tringa guttifer
99. Marsh Sandpiper  Tringa stagnatilis
100. Wood Sandpiper  Tringa glareola
101. Redshank  Tringa totanus
102. Red-necked Phalarope  Phalaropus lobatus
103. Brown-headed Gull  Chroicocephalus brunnicephalus
104. Great Black-headed Gull  Larus ichthyaetus
105. Heuglin’s Gull  Larus fuscus heuglini
106. Little Tern  Sternula albifrons
107. Gull-billed Tern  Gelochelidon nilotica
108. Caspian Tern  Hydroprogne caspia
109. Whiskered Tern  Chlidonias hybrida
110. White-winged Black Tern  Chlidonias leucopterus
111. Greater Crested Tern  Thalasseus bergii
112. Lesser Crested Tern  Sterna bengalensis
113. Eastern Common Tern  Sterna hirundo longipennis
114. Feral Pigeon  Columba livia
115. Red Turtle Dove  Streptopelia tranquebarica
116. Spotted Dove  Spilopelia chinensis
117. Zebra Dove  Geopelia striata
118. Pink-necked Green Pigeon  Treron vernans
119. Thick-billed Green Pigeon  Treron curvirostra
120. Mountain Imperial Pigeon  Ducula badia
121. Vernal Hanging Parrot  Loriculus vernalis
122. Greater Coucal  Centropus sinensis
123. Green-billed Malkoha  Phaenicophaeus tristis
124. Asian Koel  Eudynamys scolopaceus
125. Violet Cuckoo  Chrysococcyx xanthorhynchus
126. Banded Bay Cuckoo  Cacomantis sonneratii
127. Plaintive Cuckoo  Cacomantis merulinus
128. Square-tailed Drongo-Cuckoo  Surniculus lugubris
129. Fork-tailed Drongo-Cuckoo  Surniculus dicruroides
130. Collared Scops Owl  Otus lettia
131. Asian Barred Owlet  Glaucidium cuculoides
132. Spotted Owlet  Athene brama
133. Brown Hawk-Owl  Ninox scutulata (Heard only)
134. Great Eared Nightjar Eurostopodus macrotis (Heard only)
135. Large-tailed Nightjar  Caprimulgus macrurus
136. Indian Nightjar  Caprimulgus asiaticus
137. Germain's Swiftlet  Aerodramus germani
138. Asian Palm Swift  Cypsiurus balasiensis
139. Brown-backed Needletail  Hirundapus giganteus
140. Orange-breasted Trogon  Harpactes oreskios
141. Red-headed Trogon  Harpactes erythrocephalus
142. Banded Kingfisher  Lacedo pulchella
143. Stork-billed Kingfisher  Pelargopsis capensis
144. White-throated Kingfisher  Halcyon smyrnensis
145. Black-capped Kingfisher  Halcyon pileata
146. Collared Kingfisher  Todiramphus chloris
147. Kingfisher  Alcedo atthis
148. Pied Kingfisher  Ceryle rudis
149. Red-bearded Bee-eater  Nyctyornis amictus
150. Blue-bearded Bee-eater  Nyctyornis athertoni
151. Green Bee-eater  Merops orientalis
152. Blue-tailed Bee-eater  Merops philippinus
153. Chestnut-headed Bee-eater  Merops leschenaulti
154. Indian Roller  Coracias benghalensis
155. Oriental Dollarbird  Eurystomus orientalis
156. Hoopoe  Upupa epops
157. Tickell's Brown Hornbill  Anorrhinus tickelli
158. Oriental Pied Hornbill  Anthracoceros albirostris
159. Great Hornbill  Buceros bicornis
160. Great Barbet  Megalaima virens
161. Lineated Barbet  Megalaima lineata
162. Green-eared Barbet  Megalaima faiostricta
163. Blue-throated Barbet  Megalaima asiatica
164. Blue-eared Barbet  Megalaima australis
165. Coppersmith Barbet  Megalaima haemacephala
166. Speckled Piculet  Picumnus innominatus
167. Bamboo Woodpecker  Gecinulus viridis (Heard only)
168. Heart-spotted Woodpecker  Hemicircus canente
169. Streak-breasted Woodpecker  Picus viridanus
170. Black-headed Woodpecker  Picus erythropygius
171. Black-naped Woodpecker Picus hessei
172. Common Flameback  Dinopium javanense
173. Greater Flameback  Chrysocolaptes guttacristatus
174. Bay Woodpecker  Blythipicus pyrrhotis
175. Buff-rumped Woodpecker  Meiglyptes tristis
176. Great Slaty Woodpecker  Mulleripicus pulverulentus
177. Freckled-breasted Woodpecker  Dendropicos atnalis
178. Greater Yellownape  Chrysophlegma flavinucha
179. Black-and-red Broadbill  Cymbirhynchus macrorhynchos
180. Long-tailed Broadbill  Psarisomus dalhousiae
181. Silver-breasted Broadbill  Serilophus lunatus
182. Banded Broadbill  Eurylaimus javanicus
183. Black-and-yellow Broadbill  Eurylaimus ochromalus
184. Blue Pitta  Hydrornis cyaneus
185. Golden-bellied Gerygone  Gerygone sulphurea
186. Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike  Hemipus picatus
187. Blyth’s Shrike-babbler Pteruthius aeralatus (Heard only)
188. Large Woodshrike  Tephrodornis virgatus
189. Ashy Woodswallow  Artamus fuscus
190. Common Iora  Aegithina tiphia
191. Great Iora  Aegithina lafresnayei
192. Swinhoe's Minivet  Pericrocotus cantonensis
193. Scarlet Minivet  Pericrocotus speciosus
194. Mangrove Whistler  Pachycephala cinerea
195. White-bellied Erpornis  Erpornis zantholeuca
196. Black-naped Oriole  Oriolus chinensis
197. Black Drongo  Dicrurus macrocercus
198. Ashy Drongo (leucogenis)  Dicrurus leucophaeus leucogenis
                Dicrurus leucophaeus salangensis
                                Dicrurus leucophaeus mouhoti
199. Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo  Dicrurus remifer
200. Hair-crested Drongo  Dicrurus hottentottus
201. Greater Racket-tailed Drongo  Dicrurus paradiseus
202. Pied Fantail  Rhipidura javanica
203. Black-naped Monarch  Hypothymis azurea
204. Brown Shrike  Lanius cristatus
205. Long-tailed Shrike  Lanius schach
206. Common Green Magpie Cissa chinensis (Heard only)
207. Rufous Treepie  Dendrocitta vagabunda
208. Racket-tailed Treepie  Crypsirina temia
209. Ratchet-tailed Treepie  Temnurus temnurus
210. Eastern Jungle Crow  Corvus levaillantii
211. Sultan Tit  Melanochlora sultanea
212. Indochinese Bush Lark  Mirafra erythrocephala
213. Oriental Skylark  Alauda gulgula
214. Black-headed Bulbul  Pycnonotus atriceps
215. Black-crested Bulbul  Pycnonotus flaviventris
216. Stripe-throated Bulbul  Pycnonotus finlaysoni
217. Flavescent Bulbul  Pycnonotus flavescens
218. Yellow-vented Bulbul  Pycnonotus goiavier
219. Streak-eared Bulbul  Pycnonotus blanfordi
220. Ochraceous Bulbul  Alophoixus ochraceus
221. Grey-eyed Bulbul  Iole propinqua
222. Mountain Bulbul  Ixos mcclellandii
223. Sand Martin  Riparia riparia
224. Swallow  Hirundo rustica
225. Red-rumped Swallow  Cecropis daurica
226. Striated Swallow  Cecropis striolata
227. Yellow-bellied Warbler  Abroscopus superciliaris
228. Eastern Crowned Warbler  Phylloscopus coronatus
229. Claudia's Leaf Warbler  Phylloscopus claudiae
230. Pale-legged Leaf Warbler  Phylloscopus tenellipes
231. Arctic Warbler  Phylloscopus borealis
232. Yellow-browed Warbler  Phylloscopus inornatus
233. Radde's Warbler  Phylloscopus schwarzi
234. Dusky Warbler Phylloscopus fuscatus (Heard only)
235. Sulphur-bellied Warbler  Phylloscopus griseolus
236. Alstram's Warbler  Seicercus soror
237. White-browed Scimitar Babbler  Pomatorhinus schisticeps
238. Rufous-fronted Babbler Stachyridopsis rufifrons
239. Pin-striped Tit-Babbler  Macronus gularis
240. Brown-cheeked Fulvetta Alcippe poioicephala haringtoniae
241. Collared Babbler  Gampsorhynchus torquatus
242. Puff-throated Babbler  Pellorneum ruficeps chthonium
243. Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush  Garrulax monileger
244. Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush  Garrulax pectoralis
245. Black-throated Laughingthrush  Garrulax chinensis
246. Asian Fairy-bluebird  Irena puella
247. Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler  Locustella certhiola
248. Oriental Reed Warbler  Acrocephalus orientalis
249. Black-browed Reed Warbler  Acrocephalus bistrigiceps
250. Zitting Cisticola  Cisticola juncidis
251. Grey-breasted Prinia  Prinia hodgsonii
252. Yellow-bellied Prinia  Prinia flaviventris
253. Plain Prinia  Prinia inornata
254. Common Tailorbird  Orthotomus sutorius
255. Dark-necked Tailorbird  Orthotomus atrogularis
256. Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher  Culicicapa ceylonensis
257. Common Hill Myna  Gracula religiosa
258. White-vented Myna  Acridotheres javanicus
259. Common Myna  Acridotheres tristis
260. Pied Myna  Gracupica contra
261. White-shouldered Starling  Sturnia sinensis
262. Greater Green Leafbird  Chloropsis sonnerati
263. Blue-winged Leafbird  Chloropsis cochinchinensis
264. Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker  Dicaeum cruentatum
265. Brown-throated Sunbird  Anthreptes malacensis
266. Olive-backed Sunbird  Cinnyris jugularis
267. Black-throated Sunbird  Aethopyga saturata
268. Crimson Sunbird  Aethopyga siparaja
269. Streaked Spiderhunter Arachnothera magna (Heard only)
270. Oriental Magpie-Robin  Copsychus saularis
271. White-rumped Shama  Copsychus malabaricus
272. Brown Flycatcher  Muscicapa dauurica
273. Dark-sided Flycatcher  Muscicapa sibirica
274. Siberian Blue Robin  Larvivora cyane
275. Siberian Rubythroat  Calliope calliope
276. Bluethroat  Luscinia svecica
277. Taiga Flycatcher  Ficedula albicilla
278. Verditer Flycatcher  Eumyias thalassinus
279. Hainan Blue Flycatcher  Cyornis hainanus
280. Hill Blue Flycatcher  Cyornis banyumas
281. Tickell's Blue Flycatcher  Cyornis tickelliae
282. Blue-throated Blue Flycatcher  Cyornis rubeculoides
283. Rufous-browed Flycatcher  Anthipes solitaris
284. Stejneger's Stonechat  Saxicola stejnegeri
285. House Sparrow  Passer domesticus
286. Plain-backed Sparrow  Passer flaveolus
287. Tree Sparrow  Passer montanus
288. Asian Golden Weaver  Ploceus hypoxanthus
289. Streaked Weaver  Ploceus manyar
290. Baya Weaver  Ploceus philippinus
291. White-rumped Munia  Lonchura striata
292. Chestnut Munia  Lonchura atricapilla
293. Forest Wagtail  Dendronanthus indicus
294. Eastern Yellow Wagtail  Motacilla tschutschensis
295. Grey Wagtail  Motacilla cinerea
296. Richard's Pipit  Anthus richardi
297. Paddyfield Pipit  Anthus rufulus
298. Red-throated Pipit  Anthus cervinus