Suwintawong Revisited

It had been 2 months since my last visit to Suwintawong, in Nong Chok district under Bangkok. My past 5 visits accumulated a total species count of 97. I was thinking if I’d see anything new but wasn’t bothered as there were plenty of interesting sightings due to breeding season being in full swing.

Red-wattled Lapwing on their nest.

Reaching the main lake, I noticed one of the Little Grebes constructing its nest. It stood on-top arranging it, then swimming off, often resting beside the nest. It called every so often, having not heard them call before at first I thought it was the sound of Ruddy-breasted Crake.

Little Grebe + nest.

The heat haze over the lake made photography a challenge, with a lot of undesirable results. Alongside the Grebes and Bronze-winged Jacanas I saw a pair of Pheasant-tailed Jacanas which was a new bird at the spot. Despite quite a high number of past reported species I had missed a few common birds, one of which was Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker and Common Moorhen, which I recorded on this visit.

Pheasant-tailed Jacana.
Common/Eurasian Moorhen I found with my binoculars in the distance.

Leaving Bangkok for this spot, there was a massive thunderstorm. Reaching Suwintawong, the storm was brewing nearby. I thought it would inevitably pass through from the rumbling thunder and cold winds but luckily it skirted around the side. Beside the main lake there was construction work, the constant sound of a chainsaw was the backing track. Who knows how long this spot will last?

A few pairs of Lesser Whistling Ducks were there. Earlier in the year there were hundreds but they have since dispersed.

One Red-wattled Lapwing had a nest on the road in the central crack, there’s not much in means of traffic but there are also cattle here. And, the way the residents drive, it’s still a bad place. They’ve killed a Shikra with their irresponsible driving not long ago. Deeper into the spot I found a pair of Red-wattled Lapwing fledglings.

Eggs in the crack.
Video of the fledglings.

The cattle were grazing, followed by Great Mynas and one Cattle Egret. Nearby I flushed a pair of Snipes, given their prominent rufous tails and that they were in the very dry area I was fairy sure they must’ve been Pin-tailed Snipes. While Swinhoe’s Snipe does occur, it a very fine distinction and its status is a vagrant, so I wouldn’t consider it.

Cattle Egret with Cattle.
Very cool White-breasted Waterhen with chick.

I wanted to see a Black Bittern but only found Cinnamon and Yellow Bitterns on this visit. It was nice to get good pictures of the commonly occurring Yellow-bellied Prinia.

Yellow Bittern
Yellow-bellied Prinia

One of the highlights was seeing a pair of Lesser Coucals, a species that I hadn’t seen since when I was birdwatching near my old home in 2018. It was perched in the bush and upon returning later there was another as they flew around.

When I first found it, it was obscured.
Lesser Coucal perched in the open.

Checking the reeds before leaving I saw one of the hard-to-see Warblers. It had a dark-ish head from the little views I got to see of it. I tried some Pallas’ Grasshopper Warbler call and got a response. In the end, it was a good trip and I broke through into triple digits.

Male and female Red Collared-Doves.
Dusky Warbler which was at the same spot I last saw it 2 months ago.
Yellow-vented Bulbul after a bath.

All images and videos © 2022 hamsambly

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