Lat Krabang Paddies in 2023

The Thap Yao paddies in Lat Krabang, Bangkok, used to be the best place for birdwatching near the capital. According to multiple sources, it’s no longer what it once was. Even more unfortunately, this further degradation of habitat has contributed to the critically endangered Yellow-breasted Bunting not returning here for winter. For better or for worse, I didn’t truly experience the place in its prime. So, I still felt, from my visit yesterday, that it’s a decent spot. Unfortunately, farmers near here still trap and kill any birds to ‘protect their crops’, and a good visit was tainted as I had to free two birds from a horrible death and remove the net, a risky move but I do take my chances. It was incredibly heartwarming to see both birds fly away as I cut them free from the mist net. Photos of the Red-collared Dove available here and alongside the Asian Golden Weaver on my facebook.

A reliable site to view Spot-billed Pelicans. Although in my visits I’ve only seen 1 in-flight.

My main target of the day was Red-throated Pipit, and I was looking out for possibly hearing Slaty-breasted Rail. I’ve only ever been twice before this visit, and it was the first time I was here for a long-ish time. Last time I used it as a brief stopping point before heading to Suwintawong 47, a place which has probably taken the crown of best spot for birding in Bangkok.

3 Black-headed Ibis fly past overhead.

Not only the Buntings but other species such as Streaked Weaver seem extremely scarce or even not present right now. I was lucky on this visit and caught a short glimpse of a Slaty-breasted Rail crossing one of the intersecting dirt roads before it slipped into the paddies. Before I could take a photo of course, but I have plans with someone else to come back and set-up an area to get good photos of some of the illusive species.

Chestnut Munia

Chestnut Munia is always nice to see amongst the two more common species of Munia. Just a little further along the main path was where the best part of the visit occurred. On a small area of exposed mud and water, beside the rice. I had my best showing of Common Snipe alongside a pair of my target species: Red-throated Pipit.

Red-throated Pipit
Common Snipe that I observed foraging at close-range.

In the past couple months I’ve made a lot more connections in the birding community. I also reluctantly re-signed up on facebook as it’s a very useful resource of Thai birding. One of the people I met at the White’s Thrush 2 days ago gave me some guidance to a location to check for White-browed Crake over here. And I was very happy to find 5 foraging beside the road.

White-browed Crake
I could have written another post for the now friendly White’s Thrush, here’s the video from 2 days ago.

I will end the post with a few more photos from yesterday’s trip to Lat Krabang.

Asian Golden Weaver. Capable of a strong bite as I experienced first-hand.
Eastern Yellow Wagtail
Plaintive Cuckoo
White-throated Kingfisher
Common Sandpiper

And a bonus Indo-Chinese Rat Snake

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