Pratincoles at Phutthamonthon

Today, a massive storm hit Bangkok and surrounding areas. As I’m typing this, there’s still torrential rain pouring outside. Somehow, I managed to fit in an hour of birding at Phutthamonthon without much more than a drizzle. I was lucky as it wasn’t long before the torrential downpour resumed.

Little Ringed Plover on the path

Due to the weather, I decided to observe a new part of the park. An area where about a hundred Oriental Pratincoles were hanging out. Due to the new habitat and this time of year, I managed to see a few new birds for the park list. The one I couldn’t photograph were the Pin-tailed Snipes.

Oriental Pratincole with a cool hair-do in flight.
Another Oriental Pratincole with a cool hair style.

I estimated 110 Pratincoles, which is a rather large gathering, all of them were soggy and due to this, a large number were sporting fancy hair-dos. Whilst trying to not flush the Snipes, I witnessed two fly-overs of Oriental Honey-buzzards. The second of which, I managed a nice photo.

Oriental Honey-buzzard fly-over.

Walking around the area there were a few Paddyfield Pipits that I was eagerly photographing trying to find a Richard’s Pipit. I’m still inexperienced and those are two species I’m learning to separate. What would help would be seeing the latter!

Paddyfield Pipit.

It was an enjoyable excursion to part of the park I never thought to explore. Just as I was about to enter the car, something caught my eye to the left, in the trees. It was the highlight of the trip. I could make it out as a Shrike. But it didn’t look like a Brown Shrike (Common winter visitor). I thought it could be my first Tiger Shrike or a Burmese Shrike.

The Shrike in question.

I watched it catch prey, often from the ground. It also took caterpillars in the trees, probably, from what I’ve heard, how a Tiger Shrike feeds. Although the dark head had me thinking Burmese, which is the conclusion I reached!

A soggy day for the birds.
Burmese shrike with a caterpillar.

In the end, it was quite an eventful visit and I was incredibly fortunate for the rain to cease for the duration of my birding. The rain is still chucking it down outside as I finish writing this post.

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