Beginning 2023

The first 10 days of 2023 have been action-packed with plenty of birds and lifers. Starting the year off with my largest list at Phutthamonthon Park and finding 4 individuals of my lifer bird: White-crowed Crake. Last year seemed to have been my year for Nakhon Pathom province, it wasn’t planned but I gravitated to the interesting bird life, close to Bangkok, in Phutthamonthon Park.

New year new bird: White-browed Crake 01/01/23

The first twitch of the year was for Short-toed Snake-Eagle in Lopburi, a quick stop before heading to the land we have acquired near Khao Yai. Luckily, I found a silhouette on one of the tall pylons and it was the only Snake-Eagle I encountered. A huge assortment of other raptors were on display in the area, though, including Greater Spotted Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Rufous-winged Buzzard, plenty of Black-eared Kites and both common Harrier species. The day before Imperial and Steppe Eagles were sighted, both rarities, but I didn’t manage to see them.

Short-toed Snake-Eagle 03/01/22
Male Pied Harrier 03/01/22

Luckily, I will be spending much more time in Nakhon Ratchasima province, I’ve already ventured into the national park a handful of times and I’m working to overcome the learning curve of the sounds of the birds in the forest. Near where we are staying I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the bird-life, with apparent Silver Pheasants nearby, as well as plenty of other birds such as Rufous-winged Buzzard. The last day I was there I photographed one of a few Indochinese Blue Flycatchers which were residing a short walk up the hill.

Male Indochinese Blue Flycatcher near the house. 05/01/22.

Speaking of the Khao Yai national park, I was satisfied with last visit as I was able to tick off many of the species I was yet to see including Rufous-bellied Eagle, Black Eagle, Blue Rock-Thrush.

Blue Rock-Thrush, Pha Trom Jai. 05/01/23.

After the rush from the national park and general abundance of birds in Nakhon Ratchasima, I didn’t consider going to the local parks in Bangkok. I was going back to Nong Chok, in Bangkok, but not in Bangkok, to checkout the bird-life which has always blessed me (I recorded Bangkok’s first record of Eurasian Marsh Harrier here as well as Bangkok’s first eBird record of Booted Eagle). I bumped into David here, after trying to ID a Reed Warbler, lucky I did, as he showed me around an extremely good part of the area which I hadn’t explored yet. He also helped me out and I feel much more confident with the sounds of common Reed Warblers such as separating Black-browed, Thick-billed, Oriental, Pallas’s and Lanceolated.

Male Pink-necked Green-Pigeon. 07/01/23.

David saw Indian Nightjars and a Barn Owl later that evening, so I was excited to explore it again the next day. First, I stopped by at Lat Krabang’s paddies. Last year was Nakhon Pathom, I think I’m working on my Bangkok list this year. The work from learning calls yesterday was paying off and I got a nice photo of Pallas’s Grasshopper Warbler.

Pallas’s Grasshopper Warbler. 07/01/22.
A bold Oriental Reed Warbler. 07/01/22.

Getting back to Suwintawong I had the best find of the year so far. My first Eurasian Wryneck.

My first Eurasian Wryneck. 07/01/22.

I ended the day with a few Indian Nightjars, photographed on the road:

Indian Nightjar. 07/01/22.

Yesterday I was exploring the coasts of Bangkok, but the mangrove area was closed where it reached the sea, so it was more of a scouting trip. Today, I twitched the Red-breasted Flycatcher in Ayutthaya and did some birding in the surrounding park, it was great. Everyone else were in their blinds but the bird was showing better in the trees beside them. I managed to snag a great shot of it sunning below the perch, I don’t even know if the others caught this moment!

Favourite shot of the year so far, Red-breasted Flycatcher. 3rd record in Thailand. 09/01/22.
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