Crow-billed Drongo at Chulalongkorn University

The past few weeks have been unbelievably hot, birding in the midday has almost become an impossibility. I planned for early morning birding today to beat the heat but it didn’t go as planned. I ended up making my way to Chula’s campus in the late morning. Having doubts due to the heat I was considering not going but upon arrival I was relieved since majority of the campus is completely shaded by the canopy of large trees.

Eurasian Tree Sparrow on an information plaque. 15th April 2022.

When I arrived, there was plenty of bird activity and the plants were being watered by a large truck mounted with water cannon. Not long into the walk I came across Flat-tailed House Gecko alongside a snake, which quickly escaped before I could have a good look. I have been waiting to see a Long-nose Whip Snake for a while…

Flat-tailed House Gecko out on a post. 15th April 2022.

Being Songkran, the campus was quieter than normal, making it more enjoyable. During this time of year, passage migrants are the main excitements, especially with birdwatching in the city. Adding to this, most birds breeding at this time, so it’s also a good time to see fledglings, young birds and the whole nesting process as a whole.

I followed an interesting sound to find a pair of recently fledged Great Mynas.
15th April 2022.

Reaching the good spot for migrant flycatchers, I looked around and couldn’t see much. A few Ashy Drongos were around but no passage migrants. Looping around for a final check I saw another Drongo, this one was black. At this moment I knew it had to be a Crow-billed Drongo. Upon closer inspection, it checked out as Crow-billed.

First picture I took of the Crow-billed Drongo. 15th April 2022.

Very happy as this was actually the first time I have seen Crow-billed Drongo. I came close a few days ago at Phutthamonton but didn’t get one then. This individual was quite skittish, sticking to the upper canopy and taking flight quickly. It was hard to get a photograph showing the distinctive Crow-bill.

Most of the time their beak was open, like most birds, as the day was another scorcher. 15th April 2022.
Obscured but a nice look at the red eye. 15th April 2022.
Not sharp but a good perspective of the face of Crow-billed Drongo. 15th April 2022.

From this sighting, I decided to stay on. I walked over to Centenary Park, despite the heat. There were lots of insects about, many Lemon Pansy butterflies. A pair of Plain Prinia were at the entrance and in the park I heard the sound of Yellow-bellied Prinia.

One of numerous Lemon Pansys. 15th April 2022.
Scaly-breasted Munia feeding on seeds. 15th April 2022.

Returning to the Drongo spot, I found it again. I took another picture before making the return walk to the exit. It wasn’t going to provide easy photo opportunities. I kept an eye out for other migrants such as Yellow-rumped Flycatcher but there was nothing to be had. In terms of Flycatchers I only saw a couple of Asian Browns.

It wasn’t sharp but it was a decent picture showing the bird. 15th April 2022.

Before leaving I took a few more photos, including an interesting House Sparrow observation and a Brown Shrike.

Indochinese Roller. Beautiful bird that is abundant in all parks and green areas. 15th April 2022.
House Sparrow hanging on to a vertical sand-wash wall! 15th April 2022.
Brown Shrike was a nice sighting. 15th April 2022.

All images © 2022 hamsambly

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