For the past month I’ve been trying to see the Black-crested Bulbuls which have been spotted at Phutthamonthon Park. It’s unusual to see them so close to Bangkok, found throughout Thailand in forests and jungle it’s a treat to see them 30 minutes from the capital. When they were first spotted I tried to find them without any luck, then they went quiet for a few weeks and just recently returned. The past two days I set my sights on finding them.
Yesterday I couldn’t find the Black-crested Bulbuls, which was slightly disappointing as everyone else had reported it. I did get lucky with a perched Japanese Sparrowhawk and one that was in flight. Other interesting sightings included a flowing flock of about 30 Ashy Minivets and a Hair-crested Drongo which looked pretty close to a Crow-billed Drongo.
Today I had the feeling to head back to the park despite visiting yesterday. On the way over, the clouds were dark and it drizzled slightly but it seemed like it was passing by quickly. Cycling around I decided to take a slight detour and bumped into a Rufous-winged Buzzard, I already knew this visit would be fruitful, because, well, it already was.
This complimented my other sighting of Grey-faced Buzzard (fly-over) at Phutthamonthon Park from a week ago. Buzzing, from the sighting I pedalled off to the bamboo area. I heard some peculiar sounds which happened to be my main target of Black-crested Bulbul, marking my 120th species for Phutthamonthon.
There were a flock of 3 and I enjoyed watching them for a while, after the surprise Rufous-winged Buzzard and my main target I was ready to call it off early and head home. The other birds that have been recently reported and I’m still looking for are Thick-billed Green-Pigeon and Black Bittern but I’ll save looking for those for another day.
Other interesting sightings for the day included a large flock of migrating Black Bazas and a Southeast Asian Water Monitor with a Turtle in its mouth. Speaking of reptiles, I did encounter an Oriental Rat Snake the day before.
I’ve grown tired of the city parks when compared to Phutthamonthon and its vastness. No doubt I’ll be back shortly for more birding adventures.
All images and video © 2022 Sam Hambly.
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