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Worldtwitch Thailand

2005 THAILAND BIRD REPORTS

Bird Conservation Society of Thailand Bulletin (BCST Bulletin)

E-mail: bcst[at]bcst.or.th

Raptor Tables from the October-December reports

Fort late 2005 reports, see the 2006 Thailand Bird Reports


RECENT REPORTS
November - December 2005

An Oriental Darter on a water body near the Phuket Municipal Rubbish Tip on 25 December (SW) accords with the pattern of increased sightings of many medium to large waterbirds in the peninsula. A Great Cormorant was seen at Nong Bong Khai on 13 December (KS). A Grey Heron bearing a metal ring, thought to be of Russian origin, was photographed at Laem Phak Bia on 5 December (PN). A Milky Stork with 36 Painted Storks was reported from Wat Kusalot (Ayutthaya) on 22 November (SS). The long-staying Milky Stork in Buriram Province was still present at Huai Talat on 24 December (KS). 48 Glossy Ibises roosting at Ko Wat, Bung Boraphet (Nakhon Sawan) on 10 November (PKh,SS), is the largest number yet recorded. Eight Glossy Ibises were also noted on 18 December (SM).

There were five Ruddy Shelducks at Laem Phak Bia (Phetchaburi) on 4 December (WC/WRD), and 20 December (TS); with five more at Khao Sam Roi Yot on 6 December (CK). Bung Boraphet also held 7 Ruddy Shelducks and one Common Shelduck on 18 December (SM). 12 Comb Ducks at Huai Talat (Buriram) during 21–23 December (SP per WS) is the largest number recorded in recent years. KS identified these as five males and seven females on 24 December.

There were five Northern Pintails at Laem Phak Bia on 20 December (TS), and 11 at Huai Talat on 24 december (KS). Two female Gadwalls, 16 Tufted Ducks, 6 Baer's Pochards, 7 Ferruginous Pochards, 12 Common Teals and 80 Spot-billed Duck were counted on Nong Bong Khai (Chiang Rai) on 5 December (KS), and at least ten Tufted Ducks, 2 Gadwalls and one probable Falcated Duck on 12 December (WB,RK). Three Northern Shovelers were seen at Pak Thale (Phetchaburi) on 18 November (PE,TM) and 20 November (SM).

There were four Black Bazas and a Eurasian Sparrowhawk at Phuping Palace, Doi Suthep-Pui (Chiang Mai) on 24 November (CT). There was also a female Eurasian Sparrowhawk at at Cho Lae on 26 November (AJ) and 11 December (KS). Northern Goshawks were noted from Doi Ang Khang (Chiang Mai) on 10 December (TS) and Cho Lae, Mae Taeng (Chiang Mai) on 10 December (a female; KS). At Khao Yoi (Phetchaburi) at least one juvenile Greater Spotted Eagle was photographed on 13–14 November (CC); a juvenile pale morph ("fulvescens") among four Greater Spotted Eagles and one juvenile Steppe Eagle on 26 November (PH, CK,PNi), one juvenile Imperial Eagle on 20 November (CK) and two juvenile Imperial Eagles on 27 December (KS). One juvenile Imperial Eagle and two juvenile Greater Spotted Eagles were also found at Kusalot, Sena District (Ayutthaya) 11 December (ThS). A juvenile Imperial Eagle was also seen over paddies between Nakhon Pathom and Suphanburi on 10 November (MD & DD) and a Greater Spotted Eagle at Nong Bong Kai on 17 December (MD & DD).

A pale morph Booted Eagle was reported from Khao Yoi on 18 November (PK). A dark morph Booted Eagle, with a bulging crop, was observed over ricefields at Ban Pong Salot (Petchaburi) on 6 December (SK, CK). There was a remarkable concentration of c. 122 roosting harriers, mainly Eastern Marsh Harriers, near Kusalot on 25 November (CK). This roost probably dispersed soon after, as most ricefields in Sena are nowadays planted with irrigated 'super-rice', cutting short the fallow period in the early winter. Another harrier roost on the south side of Nong Bong Khai, near Wat Jin, held c. 199 harriers, of which at least 100 were Pied Harriers, including 60 in definitive male plumage, on the evening of 23 December (MD & DD). A further harrier roost at Sob Ruak (Chiang Saen) held 48 harriers, almost all Pied Harriers, when first found on 30 November, and 47 birds on 10 December (MD & DD). Common Kestrels were reported from Doi Ang Khang on 10 December (KS), Cho Lae on 10 December (KS), and Ban Sang (Prachinburi) on 13 December (AJP,PDR).

A male White-rumped Falcon was reported from an uncharacteristically high elevation when it flew over a deforested montane area on Doi Pha Hom Pok on 14 December (MD & DD).

A summary of monthly raptor reports, compiled by the Thai Raptor Group, is presented in the following table.

Seven White-browed Crakes were seen near Nong Bong Khai—a new locality—over five days during 19-23 December (MD & DD). Eight Grey-headed Lapwings flew west over Bang Pu (Samut Prakan) on 28 November (SN,AJP,PDR). A Northern Lapwing appeared on the Mekhong River at Rim Khong, Chiang Saen on 12 December (WB, RK). There were at least 1160 Black-tailed Godwits and five Red Knots at Bang Pu on 28 November (AJP,PDR), and 25 Nordmann's Greenshanks and 7 Asian Dowitchers at Khok Kham (Samut Sakhon) on 2 December (SD). Six Nordmann's Greenshanks were seen between Pak Thale and Laem Phak Bia on 20 December (TS). Ten Nordmann's Greenshanks and 30 Asian Dowitchers were present at Khok Kham on 26 December (SD). Five Red-necked Phalaropes, four Pied Avocets and two Ruffs were seen at Pak Thale, 18 November (SM). on 18 November (SM).

A single Spoon-billed Sandpiper at Khok Kham on 5 December (SD) was possibly the third different individual seen at the site during the winter so far. It was certainly not the leg-flagged individual reported previously, and was said to be flying rather weakly, and possibly ailing. The last sightings was on 14 December (SD). At Pak Thale there was a single Spoon-billed Sandpiper and three Red-necked Phalaropes on 1 December (PN); one each of Spoon-billed Sandpiper and Red-necked Phalarope on 20 December (TS). and eight Spoon-billed Sandpipers, one of the highest ever counts, on 27 December (SB,SD).

There were at least 500 Small Pratincoles on the Mekong River at Chiang Saen on 12 December (WB, RK). Two Beach Thick-knees were photographed on Ko Surin (Phang-nga) on 205 December (CK,SK, et al.). There was an adult Slender-billed Gull at Bang Pu on 28 November (AJP) and at least one first-winter Pallas's Gull at Laem Phak Bia on 20 December (TS). The third winter Lesser Black-backed Gull (reported in the previous issue) was still present at Laem Phak Bia on 1 December (PN). Photographs taken clearly show it to be moulting its primaries (the three outermost primaries were still old). 36 Caspian Terns were counted at Khao Sam Roi Yot on 6 December (CK). 50 Lesser Crested Terns and a single Brown Noddy were reported off Ko Surin (Phang-nga) on 5 December 2005 (CK, SK et al.). The Noddy was said to be settled on the water. Ko Surin also held 9 Large Green Pigeons in addition to Pied Imperial Pigeons and Nicobar Pigeon. An Indian Cuckoo was seen on Ko Surin on during 3–5 December (CK, SK et al.).

The flock of 50 Blossom-headed Parakeets near Inthanon Highland Resort during 24–28 November (PE) seems to be a more or less annual occurrence in early winter. Two Short-eared Owls were seen on Sukhothai Airport on 29 December (NP, per RK).

12 Dusky Crag Martins were found at Pha Khob, ~1,350 m asl, Phu Luang Wildlife Sanctuary (Loei) on 18 December (CK,DP). At least two Brown-rumped Minivets and a flock of 30 Striated Yuhinas were seen at 950 m, Kaeng Krachan, on 12 December (CK). There was a male Daurian Redstart on Doi Ang Khang on 10 December (KS) and 12 December (CT), and a male Blue-fronted Redstart at the entrance to the Kiew Mae Phan Trail, 2,000 m, Doi Inthanon, on 13 December (TS). Sulphur-breasted Warbler was reported from 950 m, Kaeng Krachan on 12 December (CK). A Common Starling was seen at Fang on 21 November (MD & DD). There were 28 Black-headed Greenfinches on Doi Ang Khang on 10 December (KS) and two at Doi Pha Hom Pok on 16 December (MD & DD). 50 Crested Buntings were counted on Doi Pha Hom Pok on 16 December (MD & DD).

Late records: Khao Yai, 11 October (PB): White-throated Needletail, two; a single large flock of 130 Hill Mynas.

Pong Salot, Phetchaburi 10 October (PJ, RaK) over 100 Eurasian Thick-knees

Contributors: Philip Bawden, Woraphot Boonkhwamdee, Simon Buckell, Panupong Burapa, Wanleeya Chanittawong, Chaiwat Chinuparawat, Suchart Daengphayon, Mick Davies, Dawroong Davies, Wildlife Research Division, Pisitsuk Duangyod, Peter Ericsson, Paranee Harskul, Ms. Pitchaya Janhom, Anutin Janteva, Ayuwat Jearwattanakanok, Piyaporn Kalantakapan, Dr. Chaiyan Kasorndorkbua, Dr. Rungsrit Kanjanavanit (RK), Rattapon Kaichid (RaK), Pornthep Katsura, Kanit Khanikul, Boonrod Kheowyoo, Suppalak Klabdee (SK), Dr. Thanakom Laisakul, Benchapol Lawsunyaluck, Dr. Suwanna Mukachonpan, Tom Munson, Nigel Parker, Pornpat Nikmanont (PNi), Somchai Nimnuan, Porpol Nontapa (PN), Andrew J. Pierce, Sathaporn Pothisaka, Dome Prathumthong, Theerapong Saengdokmai (ThS), Wachara Sanguansombat, Shuman Sermsai, Dr. Taweewat Supindham (TS), Dr. Kaset Sutasha, Smith Suthibut, Peerasit Tandavanij, Nattapas Thanapongpaisarn, Chanin Thienwiwatnukul, Uthai Treesucon, Somsak Uraiphan, Stijn de Win.

Compiled by Philip D. Round, Chaiyan Kasorndorkbua (Thai Raptor Group) and Roongroj Jukmongkol


Reprieve for Mae Yom National Park?

A statement by Prime Minister Taksin Shinawatra that the long-mooted Kaeng Sua Ten Dam will not now be built was a welcome Christmas present for the inhabitants of Sa-iab District, Phrae Province, and for wildlife conservationists who have argued that the reservoir, which would have been situated on the Yom River inside Mae Yom National Park, would inundate one of the last significant areas of teak-dominated mixed deciduous forest remaining anywhere in the country. This can hardly be said to represent a U-Turn on mega-dams by the government, which is actively pushing the idea of other hydro dams, including one on the Salween River. But perhaps it is a hopeful sign.


Another road proposed in Western Forest Complex

Meanwhile, the closest approach to wilderness remaining in Thailand, the western forest complex, was under renewed threat from yet another road proposal. Less than a year after a major east-west road (from Khlong Larn to Umphang) was proposed, and apparently put on hold due to environmental concerns, the Public Works, Town and Country Planning Department is pushing to build a north-south, four-lane highway through Thung Yai Wildlife Sanctuary, linking Kanchanburi's Sangkhlaburi District with Umphang District, Tak Province. Such a road would carve out the heart of the only area potentially large enough to support viable populations of large mammals, including tigers. It is ironic that, just having admitted Khao Yai as a World Heritage Site, the government should be considering a development that would be the death knell for the only other nature conservation site to qualify for World Heritage status.

The environment minister, Mr Yongyuth Tiyapairat, has asked the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation to examine the possible impact of the proposed road.

(Source: Bangkok Post, 14 December 2005)



RECENT REPORTS
October – November 2005

Besides the usual spate of records from coastal localities around Bangkok, and raptor records from site in the peninsula, we also have a number of interesting range extension and records of scarce species from little-watched areas along the Mekong River in the lower north-eastern provinces. Note that, because of the large number of raptor records received, we have simply pasted in tables of additional sightings following those in this text account.

As ever, publication in Recent Reports does not necessarily signify acceptance by the BCST Records Committee, and anybody wishing to cite records of scarce or unusual species should first check their authenticity with the committee.

46 Spot-billed Pelicans flew south over Pak Plee (Nakhon Nayok) on 13 November (PN). A juvenile Malayan Night Heron turned up at 1600 m on Doi Suthep on 16 October (DK), a presumed migrant at this uncharacteristic location and elevation. A possible Milky Stork was reported on fish-ponds at Tha Yang (Phetchaburi) with six Grey Herons on 22 October (SW). In view of the possibility of hybrids between Milky and Painted Storks, or aberrant-plumaged "leucistic" Painted Storks, it is desirable that all reports of Milky Storks be properly documented.

There were 60 Painted Storks between Khao Yoi and Wat Khao Takhrao (Phetchaburi) on 30 October and another 21 birds on ponds at Laem Phak Bia on 31 October (AR,WS). On 5 November there were still at least 25 Painted Storks around Wat Khao Takhrao (JEM,AJP,WS et al.) and, on 6 November, around ten at Laem Phak Bia (JEM,AJP,WS et al.). A juvenile Black Stork at Khao Yoi (Phetchaburi) on 12 November (STh) was the first record for the Lower Central Plains. There was a single Black-headed Ibis at Wat Khao Takhrao on 30 October (AR,WS), while eight Black-headed Ibises flew south over Kaem Ling Nong Yai (Chumphon) on 6 November (CN). Ospreys were reported at Khong Chiam (Ubon Rathchathani) on 9 October (DP,VPh,AR,WS), Ban U-Tapao (Chumphon) on 17 October (CN) and Thung Kha Bay (Chumphon) on 9 November (CN,SDW). 380 Black Bazas flew SW over Khok Kham, during the late afternoon of 28 October (SN,NY);650 Black Bazas were detected near Phetchaburi on 30 October (ART,WS), and 600 passed over Na Thung (Chumphon) on 11 November together with 154 Oriental Honey-buzzards, 13 Chinese Sparrowhawks, 22 Japanese Sparrowhawks and 8 Grey-faced Buzzards (CN). A bird identified as a juvenile Crested Serpent Eagle flew through, apparently on passage, at U-Tapao on 19 October (CN). A juvenile Steppe Eagle was reported together with 100 Black Kites between Wat Khao Takhrao and Khao Yoi (Phetchaburi) on 30 October (WS,AR).

Greater Spotted Eagles were seen at Na Thung on 11 November (one adult; CN); over U-Tapao (four on 13 November; CN), and an immature Eastern Marsh Harrier at Thung Kha Bay on 9 November (CN,SDW).

A Common Buzzard flew over Na Thung (Chumphon) on 31 October (CN). A number of Rufous-winged Buzzards were seen in both Pha Taem National Park (Ubon) and Mukdahan National Park (Mukdahan) during 9–15 October (DP, VPh, AR, WS). A juvenile Amur Falcon was reported from Doi Inthanon on 30 October (RK) and Eurasian Kestrels from Khong Chiam (Ubon) on 10 October (DP,VPh,AR,WS) and Chumphon Technical College on 29 October (CN). Single Peregrine Falcons were seen at two localities at Khong Chiam, in Pha Taem National Park on 10 October (VPh) and Pha Cha Na Dai on 11 October (AR), with others at Laem Phak Bia on 21 October (KS) and near Khao Yoi (Phetchaburi) on 5 November (JM,SN, AJP, WS). The burgeoning number of other raptor observations is presented in the tables below.

A Little Stint was reported at Khok Kham on 22 October (AJ) and a partial breeding plumage Dunlin was seen at Ban Pak Thale on 16 October (KS). By 28 October, there were three Dunlin, a Spoon-billed Sandpiper and five Nordmann's Greenshanks (PS), and 7 Nordmann's Greenshanks on 340 October (AR,WS). By 6 November, the ratios had changed, with only one Dunlin, but three Spoon-billed Sandpipers and at least ten Nordmann's Greenshanks (SN, P& PS, PDR et al.). There were an estimated 2,000 Red-necked Stints between Laem Pak Bia and Pak Thale on 6 November, most of which were concentrated at Pak Thale (JMSN,PDR); 50 Red Knots at Laem Phak Bia on 31 October (AR,WS), and 120 Great Knots and three Red Knots on 6 November (P& PS). 250 Black-tailed Godwits were counted at Wat Khao Takhrao on 5 November (JM,SN,PDR), with another 185 Black-tailed Godwits and 50 Bar-tailed Godwits, and a single tight roosting flock of 196 Eurasian Curlews on ponds between Laem Phak Bia and Pak Thale on 6 November (JM,SN,PDR). 26 Common Greenshanks were counted at Kaem Ling Nong Yai on 6 November (CN) and 30 Common Redshanks at Thung Kha Bay on 9 November (CN,SDW). 29 Asian Dowitchers and a Pied Avocet were reported from Khok Kham on 16 October (KS). There were two Pied Avocets at Pak Thale on 21 October (KS); another Pied Avocet at Wat Khao Takhrao on 5 November (BK, SN, AJP et al.) Red-necked Phalarope were reported from Khok Kham on 18–22 October (SD, AJ), and Pak Thale on 21 October (KS) and 30 October (AR,WS). Two Eurasian Thick-knees were seen near the Huai Sing Guard Station in Mukdahan National Park (Mukdahan) on 14 October (AR, VPh). The Eurasian Thick-knee at the Laem Phak Bia Environmental Research and Development Project, reported previously, was still present on 6 November (RD,JWKP,PS). Two Beach Thick-knees on a beach promontory at Chaiya District (Surat Thani) on 22 October (BK) was a remarkable find, as there are no other east coast records. The birds were not photographed and no formal description was submitted, though the observer mentioned them as being seen with plovers in driving rain. Four Great Thick-knees were seen together with 14 River Lapwings on the Mekong at Kaeng Ka Bao, Ban Non Bok, Na Tan Subdistrict (Ubon) on 13 October (DP, AR, WS, VPh). Additionally another 8 River Lapwings were seen at Hat Salung, and ten more at Keng Chang Mop. Surprisingly, in all the stretches of the Mekong River that were covered, only a single Small Pratincole was encountered, at Keng Chang Mop on 15 October (WS).

Numbers of Heuglin's Gulls at Laem Phak Bia rose from 14 on October (AR,WS) to 25 on 6 November (many observers). A black-backed gull, white-headed gull, smaller than accompanying Heuglin's Gulls, with a small rounded head and rather small bill, first found on 21 October (AJ, RK, SK,KS), was thought to be SE Asia's first genuine Lesser Black-backed Gull (also known as Baltic Gull, Larus fuscus), a third-winter bird. It was still present on 6 November (many observers). At least one first-winter Pallas's Gull was also present during 21 October (SK,KS). Both Slender-billed Gull and Black-tailed Gull were reported (KS) but no details were supplied. There were 18 Gull-billed Terns but only a single Caspian Tern between Pak Thale and Laem Phak Bia on 30 October (AR,WS). Over 2000 Common Terns were counted on ponds and salt-pans at Laem Phak Bia on 6 November (JM,SN,PDR).

There was a pair of Pink-necked Pigeons at Chumphon Provincial Sports Stadium on 12 October (CN); twenty Pale-capped Pigeons at Thung Kha Bay on 24 October (AL) and around 50 on 9 November (CN,SDW). Two Oriental Turtle Doves were recorded at Huai Sing Guard Station, Mukdahan National Park on 14 October (DP,WS). Two Oriental Scops Owls were heard near the headquarters on Pha Taem National Park on 9 October, and a grey morph bird seen during the day (DP,VPh,AR,WS).

A Blue-winged Pitta turned up in a small wood-lot on Kasetsart University Chatuchak Campus (Bangkok) on 9 November (WK). 4 Dusky Crag Martins were seen with small numbers of Striated Swallows at Pha Cha Na Dai, Khong Chiam on 11 October (DP,VPh,AR,WS). 165 Wire-tailed Swallows were counted along the Mekong River between Hat Salung (Ubon Ratchathani) and (Amnat Charoen) during 13-15 October (DP, AR, WS, VPh), most (100 or so) near Kaeng Chang Mop, Khemmerat, Ubon.

Two Lesser Racket-tailed Drongos were seen in a bird wave at only c. 433 m elevation, Dong Na Tham, Khong Chiam, on 12 October were unexpected (WS).

A first-winter male Siberian Thrush found dead at Khlong Bang Kaew on 6 November (NB, PK, VP,TT) is probably the first record for the Central Plains. Two male Common Blackbirds were reported from Doi Inthanon on 16 November (PS).

There were three Rosy Starlings at the Chumphon Provincial Sports Stadium on 16 October (CN,SS), while on 21 October, a male Chestnut-cheeked Starling was again seen at a new locality, Mae Jo University, Lamae District, Chumphon (NS,CT). Back at the Sports Stadium a female or immature was seen on 26 October (TS) and a male on 28 October (CN).

A Mekong Wagtail on the Mekong River at Keng Chang Mop, Khemmaraj (Ubon Ratchathani) on 14 October (WS) is a fairly sensational record. This is well upstream of the only previous Thai records of this recently (2001) described wagtail, at Khong Chiam, Ubon Ratchathani (two specimens collected by the late Kitti Thonglongya in December 1972). All other records are from the Mekong tributaries, the Kong (Laos and Cambodia), San (Cambodia) and Srepok (Cambodia) and the mainstream Mekong from Mounlapamok in extreme S. Laos downstream to Kampi in Cambodia. The northern limit of the breeding distribution is unclear, but the seeming absence of breeding season records upstream of Mounlapamok suggest that the bird may be a non-breeding season dispersant to the Thai Mekong. One male and probably two female Purple-throated Sunbirds were seen at Dong Na Tham, Khong Chiam on 12 October (WS).

LATE RECORDS from Doi Inthanon (DP, AR, WS, et al.)

Ashy Woodpigeon: much in evidence around the summit, with several groups of 3–7 birds, 25-26 August. The largest flock was c. 60 on 25 August (AR)

Brown-breasted Flycatcher three birds, probably two adults and one juvenile, in regenerating secondary forest, close to a stream near the park headquarters, 29–30 August.

Contributors: Waraphot Boon-kwarmdee, Noppawan Bupachat, Panupong Burapah, Yarnpol Chaiwut, Chaiwat Chinuparawat, R. (Bob) Dawson, Boonrod Kheowyoo, Banphot Kittikinglert (BaK), Suchart Daengphayon, Nok and Nature Group (N&NG), Ayuwat Jearwattanakanok, Dr. Chaiyan Kaesorndorkbua, Kanit Kaewtubnil (KKa), Kanit Kanikul, Dr. Rungsrit Kanjanavanit, Pornthep Katsura, Bruce Kekule, Rattapon Klaichit, Weerapong Korawat, David Kuehn, Benchapol Lawsunyaluck Amorn Liukiratiyutkul, Jonathan Murray, Somchai Nimnuan, Pornpat Nikmanont (PNi), Porpol Nontapa, Chukiat Nualsri, John W,K. Parr, Vetit Phumphuang (VPh), Vetida Pongpanit, Dome Pratumtong, Arun Roisri, Surachai Rungkunakorn, Pinit and Piyanipa Saengkaew, Naksit Sangjun, Wachara Sanguansombat, Wangworn Sankamethawee, Dr. Taweewat Supindham, Dr. Kaset Sutasha, Smith Suthibut, Thiti Tanaree, Cherdpong Termtanan CTe), Sukanya Thanombuddha (STh), Nattapat Thanapolpaisarn, Chondarong Tongsong, M.L.Tattong Tongtham (MLTT), Varangkana & Varanunt Toutumpitak, Uthai Treesucon, Sanguansri Wibulchutikul, Stijn de Win (SDW), Chaiwat Wongchai, Namphung Youngphoy, Zeakoel

Compiled by Philip Round and Roongroj Jukmongkol


Krabi Recognised As Internationally Important Wetland Site

Around 20 international waterbird experts and managers attended a ceremony on 15 December 2005 to dedicate Krabi Estuary and Bay as a new Shorebird Network Site in the East Asian-Australasian Migratory Waterbird Flyway.

Krabi is the first wetland site from Thailand to join the Shorebird Site Network, and makes a total of 39 sites across 12 countries now recognised in the Network for their importance as internationally significant for migratory shorebirds.

The dedication ceremony was held during the opening of the new shorebird observation towers on-site, where the Chair of the Asia Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation Committee, Mr Natori Yoshihiro, of the Ministry of Environment Japan presented the Shorebird Site Network certificate to the Director of the Krabi Provincial Administration Office.

Mr Natori described the Shorebird Site Network as an international cooperative initiative in which Krabi can share and benefit in exchanges with other sites and specialists across the East Asian-Australasian Flyway on shorebird conservation, wetland management and environment education.

Krabi Estuary and Bay was designated a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention in July 2001, and this additional recognition as a Shorebird Network Site will greatly assist local managers and communities to improve the wise use of the area.

The Governor of Krabi, Mr. Sonthi Techanun, was later on hand to officially open the 10th Annual Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation Committee, being held in Krabi, and acknowledged the work of Krabi Province officials, Wetlands International and the Royal Thailand Office of Natural Resources and Environment Planning and Policy in nominating the site to the Shorebird Site Network, and their plans for enhancing opportunities for eco-tourism and the environmentally sustainable use of this precious area.

(Contributed by Wetlands International)



RECENT REPORTS
Late August to mid-October 2005

(BCST Bull. Vol 22, no. 10)

An aberrant, light-grey plumaged Little Egret was photographed at at Ban Kuay, Tambol Rai Khok, Ban Lat (Phetchaburi) on 19 September (BK). One or more grey-plumaged Little Egrets has been seen in this area on a number of occasions in the past 2-3 years. Over 20 Painted Storks and a Spot-billed Pelican at Khlong Tamru Soi 1, Km 58, Bang Na-Trad (Chonburi) on 10 September (PK) were possibly birds that had dispersed from the free-flying Khao Khieo Zoo population. There were also 70 Painted Storks at Wat Khao Takhrao (Phetchaburi); another 50 between Ban Pak Thale and Laem Phak Bia (Phetchaburi) on 27 September; and two Black-headed Ibises at Wat Khao Takhrao on 27 September (TS).

An adult Rufous-bellied Eagle was seen at Khao Sok (Surat Thani) on 15 September (PK). The earliest apparent migrant Oriental Honey-buzzards were two dark and one pale morphs at Kirimas District, Kamphaengphet, on 16 September (NT). There were 29 Oriental Honey-buzzards, 562 Chinese Sparrowhawks and 5 Japanese Sparrowhawks over Ban Krang, Kaeng Krachan (Phetchaburi) on 19-20 September (CK,BP,RT); a pale Oriental Honey-buzzard at Khlong Bang Kaew (Samut Prakan) on 1 October (PK); Japanese Sparrowhawks on Ko Samui (Surat Thani) on 23 September (UT) and Khao Yai (a first-year) on 3 October (GG, SN,PDR). Two more Japanese Sparrowhawks flew over Khlong Bang Kaew on 5 October (PK). At Kasetsart University Kamphaengsaen Campus (Nakhon Pathom) there was one Chinese Sparrowhawk on 19 September; two adults and one juvenile, together with two Japanese Sparrowhawks and, reportedly, an early Grey-faced Buzzard on 23 September; and four more Chinese Sparrowhawks on 26 September (TS). A Eurasian Sparrowhawk was reported from Chom Thong (Chiang Mai) on 24 September (DK) though no details were supplied. More Grey-faced Buzzards were reported from Chom Thong on 2 October (WB) and Ma Hia on 9 October (WB). A "huge Aquila" was reported as passing south over Chiang Mai on 21 September (per RK).

At Khao Chi-On Non Hunting Area (Chonburi) 16 Oriental Honey-buzzards, 4 Grey-faced Buzzards and a single Japanese Sparrowhawk passed over during 4-6 October; 5 Oriental Honey-buzzards, 16 Chinese Sparrowhawks, and one Japanese Sparrowhawk on 7 October (ChT). There was also a possible dark morph Booted Eagle on 6 October (ChT). Another possible Booted Eagle, this time a pale morph, was reported from Kirimas District, Kamphaengphet, on 16 September (NT).

An immature Eastern Marsh Harrier immature was photographed at Phu Kradeung (Loei) on 2 October (CT) and another seen over Khon Kaen University Campus on 13 October (SN, AJP, PDR, et al.). The earliest Pied Harrier, a male, appeared on Doi Ang Khang (Chiang Mai) on 25 September (WB). Peregrine Falcons of the race peregrinator were seen at Cho Lae, Mae Taeng (Chiang Mai) on 10 September (AJ: photographed) and at Mae Chaem Hospital (Chiang Mai) on 9-10 August (UK). A further Peregrine Falcon (race not mentioned but assumed to be a northern migrant) was seen at Khlong Bang Kaew on 10 October (PK). The earliest Common Kestrel was in ricefields at Chom Thong on 24 September (DK) while a Eurasian Hobby was reported from Mae Hia (Chiang Mai) on 6 October (WB).

No fewer than four different male and two female Blue-breasted Quail were seen and photographed feeding at Bang Phra on 18 September (CT). One to three different Small Buttonquail were also seen during 18-19 September (CT). The birds were feeding on the rather open, partly vegetated mud or earth of a seasonally inundated area.

The earliest reported Grey-headed Lapwings were 13 at Tha Yang (Chumphon) on 17 September; 19 on 18 September, and 26 on 25 September (CN). Nine were also seen on 2 October (CN) while there was another at Phru Bangrak, Ko Samui on 22 September (UT). Other waders on Ko Samui, all from Phru Bangrak on 21 September, were two 2 Little Ringed Plovers, 15 Pacific Golden Plovers, 10 Marsh Sandpipers,3 Common Greenshanks, 5 Wood Sandpipers, 2 Whimbrels, 7 Common Sandpipers and 5 Pintail Snipes (UT). One or two birds that appeared to be Swinhoe's Snipes were photographed at Cho Lae on 27 September (AJ). The outer tail-feathers of one bird could be clearly seen to be different to those of both Pintail and Common. Eleven Pintail Snipe and three Common Snipe were counted behind Chumphon Sports Stadium on 24 September (CN,KS,TT).

200 Eurasian Curlews and 80 Bar-tailed Godwits were counted between Laem Phak Bia and Ban Pak Thale on 27 September (TS); at least 65 Eurasian Curlews, 5-10 Bar-tailed Godwits and over 1,000 Black-tailed Godwits at Khok Kham (Samut Sakhon) on 28 September (BCST/KKCC); 200 Asian Dowitchers at Khok Kham on 13 September (SD) and 305 on 28 September (BCST/KKCC). Three Asian Dowitchers were also seen at Khlong Tamru Soi 1 on 10 September (PK). Another Asian Dowitcher, 9 Great Knots and 20 Ruffs were counted between Laem Phak Bia and Ban Pak Thale on 27 September (TS). There were 34 Great Knots and 2 Red Knots at Khok Kham on 28 September (BCST/KKCC). Following the two Little Stints ringed in early September (already reported), there was at least one more (unringed) Little Stint at Laem Phak Bia on 27 September (TS). The earliest autumn date yet for Spoon-billed Sandpiper was 6 October, when a single bird was found at Khok Kham (SD).

There was a Red-necked Phalarope at Ban Pak Thale on 27 September (TS) and another at Cho Lae on 8 October (LBC). And two Pied Avocets at Pak Thale on 8 October (TS). A Eurasian Thick-knee at Laem Phak Bia on 13 October (PS) was the first ever seen on the grounds of the Environmental Research and Development Project. The first two Brown-headed Gulls were seen at Bang Pu on 7 October (PN). A group of Red Collared Doves near Ban Riang (Phuket) on 4 October (SDW) included 5 males. This species is very scarce and local in the peninsula. 73 Pied Imperial Pigeons flew over Tha Yang, Chumphon on 18 September (CN). 20 Blue-rumped Parrots were seen at Km 20, Kaeng Krachan on 5 October (TS). The earliest Large Hawk Cuckoo was at Phru Bangrak, Ko Samui, on 22 September (UT).

At least 50 migrant race (pacificus) Pacific Swifts were noted over Phanoen Thung Kaeng Krachan on 15 September (PK,PM, PDR), seemingly trickling south. One of a group of four White-crowned Hornbills at Khao Sok on 15 September delivered a lizard to another bird (PK), presumably a fledged, but still partly dependent, juvenile. There was an Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher (Black-backed Kingfisher) at Khlong Baeng Kaew, 2 October (PK, VP, TT). The earliest Wryneck was at Cho Lae on 5 September (AJ). Two adult and one juvenile Rufous Piculets were seen at Ton Chongfa Waterfall, Khao Lak (Phang-nga) on 13 September (PK).

Some Barn Swallows were already about half-way through moult of primaries at Bang Pu (Samut Prakan) on 17 September (PN). The first (migrant/wintering) Red-rumped Swallows were seen on Ko Samui on 23 September (UT), with a Black Drongo on the same date (UT). The earliest record of an apparent migrant Black Drongo was at Chumphon on 17 September (CN). Migrant Black-winged Cuckooshrikes were seen at Khlong Bang Kaew on 28 September (PK) and at Khao Yai on 1 October (PDR). The earliest Brown-rumped Minivet was at Khao Yai on 3 October (GG). A pale (leucogenis or salangensis) Ashy Drongo was also seen at Khao Yai on the same day (PDR). Two White-browed Fantails at Sap Sadao, Thap Lan National Park (Nakhon Ratchasima) on 28 August (CT) were at one of very few known localities for this scarce resident of dry dipterocarp forest. Pied Triller was reported from Walailak University (Nakhon Si Thammarat) on 16 September (PC).

The first Siberian Blue Robin was an adult male at Laem Panwa (Phuket) on 11 September (SM). Two more, a male on 23 September and a female on 24 September, died after flying into windows at the Samut Sakhon Mangrove Study Centre (YT). A male was also seen at Mu Ban Panthip (Onnut, Soi 53, Bangkok) on 1 October (PV) and a first-year female was seen at Khlong Bang Kaew on 2 October (PK). A male Siberian Rubythroat was at Khlong Bang Kaew on 13 October (PK).

The earliest Oriental Reed Warbler was at Khlong Bang Kaew on 10 September (PK). Arctic Warblers were reported from Wat Tangsai, Thap Sakae (Prachuap Khiri Khan) on 11 September (CK,PT,KT) and 5-6 at Wat Phung Bua, Ko Samui on 22 September (UT), and Khao Yai on 10 October(AJP). Radde's Warbler was reported from Khao Yai on 2 October (GG). An apparent Blyth's Leaf Warbler in mangroves at the Samut Sakhon Mangrove Study Centre on 28 September (PDR) was unexpected. A "Golden-specacled Warbler" at Bang Bor school, 30 km. Bangna-Trad (Samut Prakan) on Oct. 8, photographs of which were posted on local web-boards was thought to be a Plain-tailed Warbler (Observer?). Two Black-browed Reed Warblers were reported off Ramindra Road, Bangkok on 24 September (UT). Dark-sided Flycatchers were seen on Khao Phanoen Thung, Kaeng Krachan on 15 September (a first-year bird: PK, PM, PDR), and at Bang Pla (Samut Prakan) on 18 September (two; web posting) and at Tha Yang, Chumphon on 25 September (CN). The earliest Asian Brown Flycatcher was at Ramindra on 14 September (PE) with two more at Wat Phung Bua, Ko Samui on 22 September (UT). A possible Brown-streaked Flycatcher was reported from Suan Rotfai (Bangkok) on 25 September (WN,AS). The first Red-throated Flycatcher of the autumn was at Samut Sakhon on 17 September (PS). Adult male Yellow-rumped Flycatchers were reported from Khao Sok (Surat Thani) on 14 September (PK) and Khao Yai on 10 October (AJP). Another Yellow-rumped Flycatcher, a sick or injured bird, was picked up outside the UN Building (Bangkok) on 16 September (SV). A female or immature Yellow-rumped Flycatcher was seen at Wat Phung Bua, Ko Samui on 22 September (UT) while. Four to five were reported from Pong Salot (Phetchaburi) on 17 September (BK). A female Chinese Blue Flycatcher was photographed at Khlong Bang Kaew on 5 October (PK). Migrant Asian Paradise-flycatchers (females or immatures) were seen at Khlong Bang Kaew on 28 September (PK) and at the UNESCO Office, Sukhumvit Soi 40 (Bangkok) on 10 October (PV).

An adult and a juvenile Tiger Shrike were seen at Khao Sok on 14 September (PK), with another at Ban Krang, Kaeng Krachan on 19-20 September (CK, BP, RT). The earliest record of Grey-backed Shrike was at Tham Pha Phlong, Doi Chiang Dao (Chiang Mai) on 17 September (RK). A Burmese Shrike appeared at Pong Salot on 17 and 24 September (BK). Eight White-shouldered Starlings were seen at Tha Yang, Chumphon on 18 September (CN). A male Purple-backed Starling was seen at Ko Samui Airport on 21 September (UT) with a flock of 50 feeding on the fruits of Fagraea fragrans at Phru It, in the SE part of Ko Samui on the same date (UT). At Chumphon, there were 7 Purple-backed Starlings on 17 September, 25 on 24 September (CN,KS,TT); 21 on 1 October (CN). 300 Purple-backed Starlings at Chumphon Sports Stadium on 11 October (CN) were joined by a Chestnut-cheeked Starling on 13 October (CN), a juvenile Rosy Starling on 11 October and two juvenile Rosy Starlings on 13 October (CN). Another Rosy Starling was seen at Ban Riang, Phuket Island during 26-28 September (SDW). The first received record of Forest Wagtail, at Krung Ching, Khao Luang (Nakhon Si Thammarat) on 22 August (PC), was not a particularly early date; nor was that for Yellow Wagtail at Lat Krabang (Bangkok) on 4 September (AM). There were eight Yellow Wagtails at Phru Bangrak, Ko Samui on 21 September (UT). The first White Wagtail was seen at Rangsit University Thammasat Campus (Bangkok) on 12 September (Observer? Posted on the web). There were six Yellow-breasted Buntings behind the Chumphon Sports Stadium on 24 September (CN,KS,TT).

Breeding records: Khlong Bang Kaew, Samut Prakan (PK): Bronze-winged Jacana - a nest and three eggs under observation from 8 August to 29 August hatched three chicks on or before 3 September. The same young were again seen on 1 October, when another adult was sitting on a nest with 4 eggs

Raptors at Tha Yang, Chumphon (CN, with KS and TT on 24 September)

Species 17 Sep 18 Sep 24 Sep 25 Sep 29 Sep 01 Oct 02 Oct
Oriental Honey-buzzard 1 10 136 1,698 143 0 222
Black Kite     1 1   1  
Japanese Sparrowhawk 135 71 46 12 32 5 16
Chinese Sparrowhawk 663 2,852 735 1,535 6,727 92 3,149
Accipiter sp. 428 1,135       109  
Eastern Marsh Harrier       1   10  
Pied Harrier           2  
Circus sp.         1    
TOTAL 1,227 4,068 918 3,247 6,903 219 3,387

Contributors: Waraphot Boon-kwarmdee, Piyapong Chotipuntu, Lanna Bird and Nature Club (LBC), Dr. George Gale, Khok Kham Conservation Club, Nature Conservancy Club, Suchart Daengphayon, Peter Ericsson, Ayuwat Jearwattanakanok, Dharmarat Kaowsombat, Ms. Pornkasem Kantamara, Ms. Ubolrat Keawchum, Dr. Rungsrit Kanjanavanit, Dr. Chaiyan Kasorndorkbua, Pornthep Katsura, Boonrod Kheowyoo, Dr. Sonthaya Manawatthana, Petch Manopawitr, Ananta Mongkolsiri, Wicha Narangsi, Somchai Nimnuan, Porpol Nontapa, Chukiat Nualsri, Bogdan Persson, Andrew J. Pierce, Vetida Pongpanit, Pinit Saengkaew, Ms Apakorn Saetang, Savebird.com, Dr. Taweewat Supindham, Dr. Kaset Sutasha, Thiti Tanaree, Peerasit Tandavanitj, Yupin Tatuwan, Chirdphong Termtanan (ChT), Nattapas Thanapongpaisarn, Chanin Thienwiwatnukul, Khanoksak Thumrongluckrat, Roengchai Tungsaeng, Surachai Vichankaiyakij, Pongsuda V., Stijn De Win.

Compiled by Philip D. Round and Roongroj Jukmongkol, with notes on raptors from Dr Chaiyan Kasorndorkbua and Chukiat Nualsri.



RECENT REPORTS
Late July - early September 2005

A frigatebird over the point at Laem Pak Bia (Phetchaburi) on 3 September (PS, KS,CT et al.) was thought to be an immature Christmas Frigatebird. A juvenile Greater Adjutant at Huai Sawai Reservoir (Buriram) on 20 August (BK) was said by non-hunting area officials to have been present since 6 August. This very welcome arrival perhaps stems from the improved protection of the Cambodian breeding populations. The bird was still present on 27 August, along with a single (long-staying) Milky Stork, 30 Painted Storks (including five juveniles) 50 Asian Openbills and a Grey Heron (KS).

Eleven Japanese Sparrowhawks, the first of the season, passed over Tha Yang (Chumphon) on 3 September (CN). Small numbers of migrant raptors were also reported from Nang Mern Cliff, Phu Phan National Park (Sakhon Nakhon), with four Japanese Sparrowhawks on 3 September and 18 on 4 September (SR); and 15 and 21 Chinese Sparrowhawks, respectively, for the same two days. Both species are approximately three weeks earlier than the earliest Hong Kong dates in Carey et al. (The Avifauna of Hong Kong). However, it is worth noting that Japanese Sparrowhawk has apparently been recorded in the Thai-Malay Peninsula as early as 2 September according to Wells (1999). Seven Oriental Honey-buzzards apparently passed through at Nang Mern on 4 September (SR). Up to four Black Bazas during the same period were presumably local dispersants, as this is over a month early for regular autumn migration. Among the resident raptors, there were seven Brahminy Kites, including five immatures, at Huai Sawai on 27 August (KS). A Rufous-bellied Eagle was seen perched at Nong Pakshee, Khao Yai, on 15 August (TS).

Shorebirds at Huai Sawai on 27 August included 30 River Lapwings, a single Whimbrel, a Marsh Sandpiper, a probable Rufous-necked Stint with an orange leg-flag, indicating it had probably been ringed in SE Australia; and over 100 Oriental Pratincoles (KS). Temminck's Stint was first recorded at Laem Phak Bia on 2 September (PDR, PS). Two adult Little Stints were netted and ringed at Laem Phak Bia on 3-4 September (PDR,KS,CT et al.). The first Common Snipe was reported from experimental ricefields, Kasetsart University Chatuchak Campus (Bangkok) on 28 August (CK). Over 100 Broad-billed Sandpipers, 40 Bar-tailed Godwits and 8-10 Asian Dowitchers were counted at the Samut Sakhon Mangrove Study Centre on 11 September (NS,YW).

Two male and one female Pompadour Pigeons were seen at Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary Headuarters (Uthai Thani) on 13 August (PDR, MU). Two Pale-capped Pigeons appeared at Chumphon, on the unusually early date of 3 September (CN).

There were at least 10 Pacific Swifts near Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary Headquarters on 12 and 13 August. A Crested Kingfisher was seen at the headquarters of Mae Wong National Park, 14 August (SS). An Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher on the Mo-singto study plot, Khao Yai, on 9 September (WS) showed the characteristics of Rufous-backed Kingfisher. This seems to be the first record of a rufous-backed bird north of Kaeng Krachan. A male Cinnamon-rumped Trogon, was observed at Krung Ching, Khao Luang (Nakhon Si Thammarat) on 23 July (ST). A male Rufous-necked Hornbill was seed at Chong Yen, Mae Wong on 13 August (SS).

Male Banded Pittas were reported from Krung Ching on 23 July and again on 12 August (ST). An Eared Pitta was seen in degraded bamboo-dominated forest near the Wang Badan Guard Station of Erawan National Part on 11 August (PDR). There were two Burmese Yuhinas at Chong Yen, Mae Wong, 14 August (SS). A Rail-babbler was seen at Krung Ching on 12 August (ST)

Sightings of landbird migrants included two Tiger Shrikes, one still retaining at least partly adult plumage, at Kaeng Krachan on 26 August (STh), and one at Suan Rotfai (Bangkok) on 27 August (PW); and a small influx of adult Brown Shrikes at Laem Phak Bia on 3 September (PDR, KS, et al.). Two Pallas's Grasshopper Warblers were present at Laem Phak Bia on 4 September (PDR, PS, KS et al.). Neither Eastern Crowned Warbler (PDR) nor Arctic Warbler (GG) at Mo-singto, Khao Yai on 27 August was a particularly early sighting. Adult male Yellow-rumped Flycatchers appeared at Bang Na Trad, Km 11 (Samut Prakan) on 24 August (PW), Pha Kluey Mai, Kaeng Krachan on 26 August (STh), Khao Yai on 27 August (GG,PDR); Khlong Bang Kaew (Samut Prakan) on 29 August (PK) and Khao Yai on 30 August (AJP). An immature (probably female) Yellow-rumped Flycatcher was ringed at Laem Phak Bia on 4 September (PDR et al.) and another in Khao Yai on 8 September (AJP). The Chang Nam Guardstation of Khao Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary (Chonburi) held both an adult male and a female or immature Yellow-rumped Flycatcher on 4 September (AS). The race of an Asian Paradise-flycatcher at Mo-singto Khao Yai on 18 August (AJP) was not determined, though the date was almost ten days earlier than the previous earliest record for migrant northern incei. Two undoubted incei Asian Paradise-flycatchers (females or immatures) were photographed at Kasetsart University Kamphaengsaen Campus (Nakhon Pathom) on 30 August (TS). Forest Wagtails were reported from Na Haeo (Loei) on 20 August (AS) and Khao Yai on 27 August (SN), with "many" at Kaeng Krachan on 26 August (STh). There were three Yellow Wagtails at Laem Phak Bia on 4 September (PDR et al.) and already a flock of 24 feeding on grassland at KMUTT, Bangkhunthien (Bangkok) by 5 September (WS). The first White-shouldered Starlings (12 birds) appeared at Laem Phak Bia on 11 September (PS).

Breeding records

Doi Inthanon: pair of White-browed Shortwings feeding young in the nest, 13 August (AS).

Sap Sadao, Thap Lan, Nakhon Ratchasima, 25 June (ST): Crested Treeswift feeding a single partly fledged young; Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch feeding two partly fledged young.

Huai Kha Khaeng, Uthai Thani: A nest of White-crested Laughingthrush with two well grown nestlings (12 August) fledged two young on 13 August (PDR,MU).

Mahidol University, Sai Yok, Kanchanaburi: nest of Blue-winged Pitta with three eggs, 11 August (PDR, MU).

KMUTT, Bangkhunthien, Bangkok (WS) White-breasted Waterhen with three small chicks, 4 September; Asian Golden Weaver, a single young fledged from each of two nests, while a third nest contained two nestlings, 5 September.

Bang Phra, Chonburi (ST): Barred Buttonquail adult accompanied by two small young, 6 August.

Krung Ching, Khao Luang, Nakhon Si Thammarat (ST): Common Tailorbird feeding a young cuckoo fledgling, thought to be a Banded Bay Cuckoo, 23 July; Moustached Babbler feeding two fledged young and Rufous-winged Babbler feeding fledged young, 13 August;

Mangroves at Sichol, Nakhon Si Thammarat (ST): Common Tailorbird feeding fledged young, 12 August.

LATE RECORDS

A Rufous-winged Buzzard, photographed at Tha Yang (Phetchaburi) on 26 June (TS) extends the known range southwards very significantly.

Contributors:

Bruce Kekule, Dr. George Gale, Pornthep Katsura, Somchai Nimnuan, Andrew J. Pierce, Philip D. Round, Suirachai Rungkunakorn, Pinit Saengkaew, Aphakorn Saetang, Naksit Sangchan, Ms Wangworn Sankamethavee, Dr. Taweewat Supindham, Suthee Supparatvikorn, Dr. Kaset Sutasha, Chirdpong Termtanan, Ms. Sopitcha Tantitadapitak, Ms. Sukanya Thanombuddha, Mahidol University Ornithology Class (MU), Paitoon Wisia, Yodsaphol Wonglertwit.



RECENT REPORTS
July - early August 2005

Three Great Cormorants and 10-15 Oriental Darters were at Praprong Reservoir near Pang Sida National Park (Sa Kaeo) on 31 July (WK,KK,PY). 24 Spot-billed Pelicans were counted at Thung Feua, Muang District (Phetchaburi) 24 July (PS). Small numbers (< 10 birds) were also seen in soaring flight with Painted Storks at Laem Phak Bia and Wat Khao Takhrao (Phetchaburi) on 7 August (CK,KS, CT et al.). 30 Spot-billed Pelicans at Bang Phra (Chonburi) together with three Black-headed Ibises and 90 Painted Storks on 30 July (SM) were presumably from free-flying, zoo-associated population there. At least 150 Painted Storks were seen from Laem Phak Bia to Wat Khao Takhrao on 7 August (JM, KS,CT, et al.)

Two Cotton Pygmy-geese were seen at at Khlong Bangkaew (Samut Prakan) on 19 July (PK). A Chinese Francolin, many Rain Quails and two Small Buttonquails were noted from Bang Phra on 30 July (SM, CT).

A Red-legged Crake was seen at the third stream of Ban-Krang, Kangkrachan NP. at 18:00 h on 10 July (SM). The first autumn records of Rufous-necked Stint, Long-toed Stint and Little Ringed Plover at Khok Kham were on 18 July (SD). There were four Ruff at Laem Phak Bia on 24 July including one in partial breeding plumage (PS), and eleven, all adults on 7 August (CK,PDR,KS et al.) There were already 180 Eurasian Curlew at Laem Phak Bia on 6 August (JM, SN,PDR) and an estimated 1,500 Black-tailed Godwits at Khok Kham on 29 July (SS).

Last month's Pied Avocet was still on view at Khok Kham on 29 July (SD, SN, PDR, et al.). There was a record count of Little Terns (350 birds) on the sandspit off Laem Phak Bia on 7 August (PDR). Only one Great Crested Tern, and about 200 Common Terns were present (KS, CT, et al.)

A Crested Kingfisher was seen at the new locality of Lamthan Ban Mae Khlong Sai, in the Sw part of Chiang Dao District, (Chiang Mai) 15 June (JP). A Black-capped Kingfisher at Km 11, Kaeng Krachan, on 24 July (PS) was perhaps a bird that had failed to migrate. The earliest Common Kingfisher was an adult at Laem Phak Bia on 7 August (CK,PDR, KS, et al.) Migrant Barn Swallows were first reported on 19 July (PK) at Khlong Bang Kaew. The numbers were said to have increased steadily since then.

Three red-vented Sooty-headed Bulbuls seen on a housing estate in Nong Khaem on 19 July were determined to have escaped from a nearby aviary (RJ). Sooty-headed Bulbuls are scarce in or near the city, and where they occur are all yellow-vented.

Both Rufous-throated Fulvettas and Short-tailed Parrotbills were reported by several parties of observers in Na Haeo National Park (Loei) during July (STh, et al). The earliest-reported Grey Wagtail was on Doi Inthanon, 7 July (MB). Two more were seen at Ban Krang, Kaeng Krachan on 16-17 July (SM). A flock of over 1000 Pin-tailed Parrotfinches roosted in a large tree. Na Haeo, 9-10 July (UT).

5-6 nests of Asian Golden Weaver were found in Eucalyptus and Alstonia trees just outside the gates of Pang Sida National Park, on 1 August (WK, KK, PY). Five or six nests of Asian Golden Weaver at King Mongkut's University of Technology, Thonburi, were under observation until late July, when they disappeared (SN,WS), having probably been destroyed or collected by construction workers.

Nesting records:

Than Pha Phlong, Chiang Dao: [???] two, nest-building 16 June (JP)

Krung Ching, Khao Luang, Nakhon Si Thammarat: Rufous-collared Kingfisher male flew out of presumed nest-hole on a less than 20 degree slope, 10 July (PC); Black-naped Monarch nest and three eggs, 25 June (PC).

Mo-singto, Khao Yai: nest of Eared Pitta with one egg, 3 August; still one active Abbott's Babbler nest and an active White-crowned Forktail nest (KP).

Thung Song Hong, Bangkok (BM): Spotted Dove, two well-grown nestlings, close to fledging, 9 July; Streak-eared Bulbul, two nestlings found dead beneath nest, 23 July; Common Tailorbird nest with nearly full-grown Plaintive Cuckoo nestling, 5 July.

Khlong Bangkaew, Samut Prakan (PK): Little Grebe and a single small chick on a nest on 31 July; Pheasant-tailed Jacana incubating four eggs on 16 July; three small young hatched by 21 July. Bronze-winged Jacana incubating three eggs, 4 August; White-browed Crake with four chicks, 31 July; Common Moorhen and four small chicks, 16 July; Watercock and a single chick on 31 July.

Sukhumvit Soi 119, Bang Pu, Samut Prakan (SM): Ten nests of Little Grebe; ten Asian Golden Weaver nests.

Ban Krang, Kaeng Krachan: Black-and-red Broadbill said to be nesting, 16-17 July (SM); precise stage of nesting not mentioned.

Contributors: Matt Brady, Piyapong Chotipuntu, Dr. Chaiyan Kasorndorkbua, Pornthep Katsura, Kanokwan Kongtong, Wichian Kongtong, Dr. Suwanna Mookachonphan, Jonathan Murray, Somchai Nimnuan, Jakkrit Phuangkaew, Korakoch Pobprasert, Philip D. Round, Surachai Rungkunakorn, Pinit Saengkaew, Wangworn Sankamethavee, Siriya Sriphanomyom, Dr. Kaset Sutasha, Chirdphong Termtanan, Sukanya Thanonbuddha, Chanin Thienwiwatnukul, Uthai Treesucon, Preecha Yimpradit.


OBC Grants for conservation projects

The Oriental Bird Club aims to encourage interest in Oriental Birds and their conservation. In 2005, OBC is pleased to offer the following grants:

Forktail-Leica Award for Conservation

AEC/OBC Award for Conservation

OBC-WildWings Award for Conservation and Awareness

OBC Small Grants for Conservation

For further details explaining the scope of support from OBC, please contact either OBC representative Klos Boonthawee (01-630-3207, e-mail kboonthawee [at] gmail.com) or the Chairman of OBC's Conservation Committee, Phil Benstead at obc.admin [at] virgin.net.

A leaflet on OBC awards is also available from Philip Round (Room N515, Biology Department, Mahidol University; tel. 01-914-8675 or e-mail pdround [at] ksc.th.com. Details may also be found on the OBC website.

If you are not already a member of OBC, contact OBC Thailand representative Klos Boonthawee in order to pay your annual subscription in baht.


Gulf motorway cancelled?

There are strong indications that the government's proposed trans-gulf motorway road bridge will be cancelled (Bangkok Post, 8 August 2005, 9 August 2005). The original plan was to construct a 47 km road-bridge spanning the Inner Gulf from Samut Sakhon to Laem Phak Bia. The Ministry of Transport and Communications cited environmental impacts and opposition from local people as the reasons for probable cancellation. However, the high cost (an estimated 60-70 billion baht), together with the country's poorer economic performance due to the high cost of oil and the "troubles" in the south were probably equally important in forcing this "re-think". The Transport Ministry will now consider the alternative of a land-based tollway to cope with the anticipated rise in road traffic.

BCST was the first conservation NGO to uncover the details of the government's proposal to build the bridge, and the first to raise concerns over its possible environmental impact. The impact would not be limited to the bridge alone, but would extend to expected ancillary construction and industrialization that would take place contemporaneously at the site where the bridge left, and rejoined the land.

However, we were careful not to oppose the bridge outright. Our position has always been that the huge social and environmental impacts, and especially the impacts on biodiversity, of the project needed to be realistically assessed in order that the costs of the bridge could be properly judged alongside its benefits. If a decision was then taken to build the bridge, appropriate mitigation measures could have been instituted to minimize the impacts on shorebirds and other waterfowl, and on the coastal ecology of the gulf.

However, it soon became evident that there had been no opportunity for public participation in the consultation process. The Environmental Impact Assessment, especially those parts dealing with biodiversity, was utterly inadequate. The EIA made no mention of Thailand's obligations as a signatory of the Wetlands Convention. Nor did it demonstrate any awareness of the international conservation importance of the gulf. The Inner Gulf is Thailand's most important wetland for resident and migratory waterfowl, supporting globally important populations of over 30 species, including the endangered Spoonbilled Sandpiper and Nordmann's Greenshank.

While BCST welcomes the fact that an alternative to the road-bridge is now finally being considered, it is important to remember that the biodiversity of Thailand's most important wetland will continue to be threatened, whether the bridge is built or not, by the complete lack of zoning and planning controls that allow factories and housing to spread untrammeled and unregulated throughout the coastal zone. As we write, one company is in the process of building a major oil refinery in Ban Laem district, less than one kilometer away from a site which supports a key wintering concentration of shorebirds, including most of Thailand's wintering Spoon-billed Sandpipers. The only comment of the government agency responsible for wetland conservation was that "construction could go ahead because the site did not lie in a protected area".

Returning to the road, if the proposed bridge is to be replaced instead with a land-based tollway, careful consideration will need to be given to its precise route. Conceivably, a road built entirely on land in the coastal strip could be even more damaging to waterfowl habitat than the original trans-gulf bridge would have been. Members of the public and local people who would be affected by any new road must be allowed to participate fully in the design and consultation process.



RECENT REPORTS
May-July 2005

Approximately 350 Indian Cormorants flew southwards over Laem Phak Bia (Phetchaburi), to a presumed roost, with Little Cormorants, 8 July (JM,PDR). There were also 29 Indian Cormorants perched in trees at KU Kamphaengsaen (Nakhon Pathom), a new locality on 6 June (TS). An adult Malayan Night Heron was seen at Ban Krang, Kaeng Krachan, 23 May (ST) and three more feeding on a lawn at Khao Cha-ngok (Nakhon Nayok) on 10 July (SK). There were at least 170 Painted Storks, including 15 brown juveniles, at Laem Phak Bia, 8 July (JM,SN,PDR). A juvenile Greater Adjutant which crash-landed on the roof of Mr. Boonchuay Phanthawong Ban Somsakpattana, Tambol Pha Khao, Pha Khao District (Loei) at 01:30h on 8 May was eventually handed in to the Royal Forest Department authorities (per TP).

A Besra was reported from Kong Kaeo, Khao Yai on 2-3 July (AS).

Observations on mudflats off Samut Sakhon Mangrove Study Centre have revealed the midsummer presence of a surprising range of waders, including a few Whimbrels, at least 100 Black-tailed Godwits, 2-3 Common Greenshanks and at least 50 Common Redshanks, in addition to a few Lesser Sand Plovers (CK). Other shorebirds and terns included four Broad-billed Sandpipers on 19 June (CK), a Eurasian Curlew, six Gull-billed Terns and 40 breeding plumage Whiskered Terns on 26 June (CK). There were 300 Black-tailed Godwits and eight Asian Dowitchers at Khok Kham on 2 July (SD) and a single Terek Sandpiper on 3 July (GG,SN,PDR,SS,), followed by a Pied Avocet on 3 July (SD) and 42 Great Knots on 4 July (SD).

There were roughly 100 Pacific Swifts, showing the relatively narrow white rump band of the resident race, A.p. cooki, over the limestone hills behind Sai Yok Noi Waterfall (Kanchanaburi) on 29 June (PDR) indicating that this species may perhaps breed much farther south than previously realised.

Bird records from Ko Phayam (Ranong) included four Pink-necked Pigeons, two Brown-winged Kingfishers on 29 June, and a flock of Small Minivets and seven Green Imperial Pigeons on 30 June (PK). Olive-winged Bulbul was said to be plentiful there.

Late records from the spring:

Khlong Bangkaew (Samut Prakan):

Oriental Darter, Peregrine Falcon and three Baillon's Crakes, a pair of Streaked Weavers and two pairs of Asian Golden Weavers, 3 April (PK,PW). A pair of Fulvous-breasted Woodpeckers were feeding young in a nest-hole in a mango tree on 7 May (PK).

Khok Kham: Red-necked Phalarope one, 2 April (PK).

Doi Lang (part of Doi Pha Hom Pok), Chiang Mai (TS):

Pied Harrier male, flew over a mountain pass at 2130 m 14 April; a possible female flew over on 15 April. At least one White-throated Needletail, 2000 m, 15 April.

Male Purple Cochoa, 2000 m, 15 April; four male and two female Scarlet Finches, 200 m elevation, 13-15 April, perching on high branches seemingly to sunbathe.

A pair of Jerdon's Bushchats, near a hilltribe village at c. 1245 m., 13-14 April.

Doi Ang Khang, Chiang Mai (TS): Six Siberian Thrushes, including males of the nominate race, Hup Sawan, 17 April.

Ban Krang, Kaeng Krachan (TS): male Giant Pitta by the third stream crossing, 25 April.

Breeding records:

Nan: Doi Phu Kha, Red Junglefowl incubating, 6 April (ST).

Ban Krang, Kaeng Krachan:

Collared Scops Owl adult and three fledged young, 1-2 May. Adult seen to feed both katydids and geckos to the young (TS). Pair of Black-backed Kingfishers excavating nest-hole in river-bank, 29 April - 2 May (TS) were said to be incubating on 14-15 May (ST) and 21-23 May, with both adults feeding young in the nest during 4-6 June (ST). Another adult or pair were feeding a fledged young at a second site on 5-6 June. Banded Kingfisher believed incubating on 14-15 May (ST); Rufous-collared Kingfishers feeding young in the nest, 14-15 May (the male seen to bring in a skink) and 21-23 May (ST). Greater Yellownape pair excavating, 14-15 May (ST); Pair of Black-and-red Broadbills at a nest, Km 13, 26 April (TS); a pair nest-building on the Khao Pakarang trail, 14-15 May (ST) and a third pair nest-building on 23 May (ST); Black-and-yellow Broadbills adults feeding young in the nest 1 May (TS) and (presumably a different nest) on 21-23 May from which the young had fledged by 3 June (ST). Silver-breasted Broadbill incubating on 21 May and at a second nest on 4 June (ST); another pair nest-building on 4 June (ST).

Green Magpie nest-building, and a second pair with nest and young, 4 June (ST); Ochraceous Bulbul, two fledged young, on 4 June (ST); Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush incubating, 01 May (TS and with two nearly full-grown nestlings, 22-23 May (ST); Rufous-fronted Babbler feeding young in the nest, 01 May (TS); Grey-headed Flycatcher nest-building, 5 May (ST); Black-naped Monarch incubating, 4 June (ST); White-rumped Munia incubating on 23 May; feeding nestlings on 4 June (ST).

Phanoen Thung (Km 26-30), Kaeng Krachan (ST): Blue-throated Barbet feeding young in the nest, 22-23 May; Long-tailed Broadbill incubating 22 May, feeding two nestlings on 4 June (ST). Ratchet-tailed Treepie feeding a fledged young, 23 May; Grey-chinned Minivet feeding nestlings, 6 June.

Doi Inthanon, Chiang Mai (CT):

Mountain Bamboo Partridge pair with chicks walked across the tarmac road at > 2000 m elevation, 3 July. Nest and young of Pygmy Wren Babbler, summit, 2-3 July (adults seen carrying food into a thicket of moss); Large Niltava adult and two fledglings along the jeep track, 2 July.

Sai Yok, Kanchanaburi (PDR):

Blue-winged Pitta, almost full-grown fledged juvenile, 29 June; Ashy Woodswallow pair feeding a nearly full-grown nestling, 22 June; Scaly-breasted Munia four nests in the building stage, 22 June.

Thung Song Hong, Bangkok (BM): Scaly-breasted Munia commenced nest-building, 11 May and nest completed 25 May. Bird entered nest on 5 May but thereafter abandoned. Spotted Dove incubating 24 June; Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker collecting pappi of Great Indian Milkweed apparently as nest-material, 20 June..

Nong Khaem, Bangkok: Plain Prinia, single fledgling left nest, 3 July (PDR)

Bang Khunthien, Bangkok: Paddyfield Pipit nest-building 5 July (SN) and with two eggs on 8 July (AJP) and 12 July (SN). Plain Prinia nest-building in Typha 5 July (SN).

Contributors: Suchart Daengphayon, Dr. George Gale, Pornthep Katsura, Miss B. Mountfield, Jonathan Murray, Somchai Nimnuan, Therapong Phuntachai, Andrew J. Pierce, Philip Round, Apakorn Saetang, Siriya Sriphanomyom, Dr. Taweewat Supindham, Sopitcha Tantitadapitak, Chanin Thienwiwatnukul, Paitooon Wisia.

Compiled by Philip D. Round and Roongroj Jukmongkol


Another leg-flagged wader resighted

A leg-flagged Curlew Sandpiper photographed at Khok Kham on 2 April by Pornthep Katsura, with the combination orange/yellow, on the right leg, was ringed in South Australia sometime after April 1999. The resighting was a distance of approximately 7062 km, with a bearing of 316 degrees, from the marking location. (Details supplied by Australasian Wader Studies Group).

This may be the first recovery/resighting of an Australian-ringed wader in the Inner Gulf. There have been previous records of Australian ringed Curlew Sandpipers from Pattani Bay, South Thailand, and one, ringed in Tasmania, from Satthahip, Chonburi.

With increased shorebird ringing and use of leg-flags along the flyway, birdwatchers and bird photographers who watch shorebirds are encouraged to keep a special look-out for coloured leg-flags and to send in any sightings to BCST.



RECENT REPORTS
April to early June 2005

An Oriental Darter was seen at Phu Khieo (Chaiyaphum) on 13 April (LM). A Spot-billed Pelican (thought to be a semi-tame, released bird) was also seen during 10-14 April (LM). There were two Oriental Darters at Pakxan, Bolikhamsai Province, N. Laos, on the weekend of 8-9 May (JWD, CW). Five Indian Cormorants fed with Little Cormorants at Bung Nongbawn, near Rama 9 Park (Bangkok) on 3 June (PK).

About 200 Painted Storks soared over paddies between Khao Yoi and Ban Laem (Phetchaburi) on 3 June, and a further 80 birds fed and roosted on salt-pans at Laem Phak Bia (JM,SN,PDR). A single, presumably escaped Greater Flamingo, was again present at the latter site and date (JM,SN,PDR).

A breeding plumage Indian Pond Heron was photographed at Laem Phak Bia (Phetchaburi) on 4 June (KS,CT). A flock of 12 Black Bazas flew past Khao Soi Dao (Chanthaburi) on 13 April (ST), and 73 flew over at Pong Salot (Phetchaburi) on 28 April (SR); 15 Oriental Honey-buzzards flew over Km 27.5, Kaeng Krachan on 26 April (SR). A female Chinese Sparrowhawk was seen to prey on a lizard at Ban Krang, Kaeng Krachan,on 25 or 26 April (SR). The latest record for a Japanese Sparrowhawk was a male at Na Tung, Muang (Chumphon) on 9 May (CN), while a Shikra at Na Tung on 26 May (CN) may possibly be indicative of resident status. A Red-legged Crake appeared in a garden near Ban Muad, Muang District (Chiang Mai) and was seen more or less daily from 13 May to 25 May (CL,PL). There were 12 Eurasian Thick-knees at Pong Salot on 28 April (SR).

Some interesting late dates for waders have been received, thanks to (these days!) much improved coverage. Mahachai (Samut Sakhon) held 216 Black-tailed Godwits and 2 Asian Dowitchers (in non-breeding plumage) on 20 May (KS), 50+ Black-tailed Godwits, 3 Asian Dowitchers, 40 Whimbrels and a single Eurasian Curlew on 22 May (CK). Remarkably there were still 5 Asian Dowitchers, and 200 Black-tailed Godwits present on 5 June (CK). There was a rather sickly looking, solitary Spotted Redshank at Wat Khao Takhrao on 3 June (JM,SN,PDR).

There were also 40 Bar-tailed Godwits, 45 Whimbrel and a single Grey Plover, at Laem Phak Bia on 3 June (PDR), along with about 150 Rufous-necked Stints, 300 mixed sandplovers (but more Greaters than Lessers), 150 Common Redshanks, at least three Common Greenshanks and a few Curlew Sandpipers. On 4 June, the Laem Phak Bia Environmental Research and Development Project Area and adjacent sandspit held a (one legged) Terek Sandpiper, two Common Sandpipers (KS,CT), 25 Great Crested Terns, four Caspian Terns and 5 non-breeding plumage White-winged Terns (PDR). There were still four Brown-headed Gulls at Bang Pu on 27 May (PK).

A single Alexandrine Parakeet at Khlong Bang Kaew (Samut Prakan) on 28 May (PK) was presumed to be a feral bird or an escaped captive. A Pied Imperial Pigeon was seen at Na Tung, Chumphon, on 26 May (CN). A Lesser Cuckoo was seen and heard singing on Doi Ang Khang, 29 May (PE).

Eight Glossy Swiftlets were seen at Krung Ching, Khao Luang (Nakhon Si Thammarat) on 24 May (PC,CK). April. Records of Helmeted Hornbills from Km 24, Kaeng Krachan -- one, identified as a juvenile, though said to have a long tail on 26 April (LSP, LOT,LAT, et al.) and two at on 1 June (KK, JL) -- present a significant and unexpected range extension

Two male and one female Black Hornbills -- a nationally very rare bird, thought to be completely restricted to lowland forest, were reported from Krung Ching on 6 May (UH, SR, SW).

A male Siberian Thrush, and two Grey-sided Thrushes were seen on Doi Phu Fa (Nan) 3 April (ST); and two male and one female Siberian Thrushes, on Khao Soi Dao Tai on16-17 April (ST). A pair of Green Cochoas was reported from Khao Soi Dao Tai on 17 April (ST); and a White-throated Rock Thrush, (sex not mentioned) at the nearby Pong Nam Ron Captive Breeding Station on 13 April (ST). Remarkably a sighting of a male Japanese Robin was reported at Phanoen Thung, Kaeng Krachan on 25 April (SR,LAT), though no details were supplied. A male Blue-fronted Roboin was reported from near the Mae Puh Valley, Doi Ang Khang (Chiang Mai) on 19 May (PCh). The observer has promised to send full details in due course.

A juvenile Mangrove Whistler, was seen at Mahachai on 22 May (CK). Among the scarcer babblers, a Ferruginous Babbler was singing at Krung Ching on 24 May (PC,CK). There was a single, rather late, Oriental Reed Warbler at Laem Phak Bia on 4 June (PDR, KS, CT et al.). Grey-cheeked Warblers were reported from Doi Phu Fa, 6 April and on Doi Doing Ya Wai, 10 April (ST).

Two dozen Manchurian Reed Warblers in a bed of grasses and sedges at Pakxan, Bolikhamsai Province, N. Lao on the weekend of 8-9 May (JWD, CW) were thought to represent a major migratory influx. These were the first records of this taxon for N Laos.

Both Fulvous-chested Flycatcher and Brown-streaked Flycatcher were seen at Krung Ching Waterfall, Khao Luang, on 22 May (PC, CK), with another adult Brown-streaked Flycatcher feeding two fledglings at the Khao Nun station of the same national park (about 10 km from Krung Ching) on 28 May (PC,CK). A male Yellow-rumped Flycatcher was seen at Phu Khieo on 10 May and a female on 14 May (LM). Both a male and a female Mugimaki Flycatcher were seen on Khao Soi Dao Tai (Chanthaburi) on 15 April (ST), and Slaty-backed Flycatcher male and female on Doi Pu Fa, 3-6 April (ST). There was a flock of almost 100 Chestnut Buntings Doi Phu Fa, 2 April, (ST

Breeding records:

Doi Phu Kha National Park, Nan Province (ST): Doi Phu Fa, Black Eagle incubating, 3 April; Golden-throated Barbet, excavating 3 April and another bird feeding young in nest, 6 April; Striated Bulbul carrying nest-material, 3 April; Buff-breasted Babbler feeding young in nest, 2 April; Coral-billed Scimitar Babbler feeding fledged young, 3-7 April. Rufous-winged Fulvetta, feeding fledged young, 3 April; another nest-building, 7 April; Eye-browed Wren Babbler two birds nest-building, 6 April; Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush, feeding fledged young, 6 April.

Doi Dong Ya Wai: Blue-winged Minla, two adults feeding two fledged young, 10 April; Spectacled Barwing, two adults feeding two fledged young, 10 April.

Doi Inthanon, Chiang Mai (PE): White-gorgeted Flycatcher adult feeding two recently fledged young, Doi Inthanon, 27 May.

Khao Yai (Haew Narok Trail; CK): Nest of Shikra with two nestlings, 22-23 May. During 30 April -2 May the nestlings were out of the nest and were being fed by the adults.

Khao Soi Dao Wildlife Sanctuary, Chanthaburi (ST): Moustached Barbet excavating 15 April and another pair feeding young in the nest, 18 April.

Khlong Bang Kaew, Samut Prakan (PK): White-breasted Waterhen with five chicks, 30 May; pair of Common Moorhens with three chicks, 28 May; fledged juvenile Red-wattled Lapwing, 28 May; Red Collared Dove male nest-building, 30 May two male Asian Golden Weavers nest-building, 25 May.

Ban Krang, Kaeng Krachan: Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike, pair and nest, 27 April (SR).

Na Tung, Muang District, Chumphon Province (CN): two juveniles from a nest of White-bellied Sea Eagle reported in an earlier issue were first seen to fly on 26 May.

Krung Ching, Khao Luang National Park, Nakhon Si Thammarat Province (PC,CK,PT): A nest of Wallace's Hawk Eagle with one well- grown nestling 22-28 May. From 26 May onwards the young sat outside, but in the vicinity of the nest.

A nest of Blyth's Hawk Eagle nest was also under observation at Krung Ching during 25-28 May. The adult sat on the nest throughout suggesting that it was still incubating

Late Records

Doi Phu Kha, Nan Province (ST) The sum total of Beautiful Nuthatches recorded in the past winter (partly referred to in a previous issue) may be as many as twelve different birds: nine at three separate locations on Doi Dong Ya Wai, 25-26 January; a single on Doi Phu Fa on 12-13 February and two more on the summit of Doi Phu Kha itself on 18 February. There were thirteen Fire-capped Tits on Doi Dong Ya Wai, 13-14 March.

Green Cochoas on Doi Dong Ya Wai 11-14 March was carrying nest-material.

Khlong Mon, near the Chiew Larn Dam, Khlong Saeng (Surat Thani (RK,MR, WS): Two Ospreys, 30 March; occupied nest of Wallace's Hawk Eagle in a Tetrameles nudiflora (bird apparently incubating), 31 March; Barred Eagle Owl, 01 April; Rufous-collared Kingfisher female, 3 April; Chequer-throated Woodpecker (three birds, 2 April; Olive-backed Woodpecker, one female, 02 April Sooty-capped Babbler reported 31 March; Large Wren Babbler, pair, 3 April; male Yellow-rumped Flycatcher, 4 April

Phanoen Thung, Kaeng Krachan, 21 March (MR): Migrant raptors moving through included Grey-faced Buzzard (8), Oriental Honey Buzzard (2), Common Buzzard (1) and Chinese Sparrowhawk (5).

Naresuan Camp, Hua Hin. Prachuap Khirikhan (MR): Grey-faced Buzzard 10-12 birds flew north on 8 March. One Japanese Sparrowhawk was also seen. Drongo Cuckoo singing, 9 March.

Muak Lek, Saraburi (MR): 25 Black Bazas on 27 March; male Yellow-rumped Flycatcher, 27 March.

Bala Sector, Hala-Bala Wildlife Sanctuary, Narathiwat (RK,MR,WS): Bat Hawk, three birds, including one recently fledged young, 5 April; Javan Frogmouth incubating, 6 April; Cinnamon-rumped Trogon, male, 7 April; Reddish Scops Owl one seen 7 April (heard daily 5-8 April).

Contributors: Phil Chantler (PCh), Dr. Piyapong Chotipuntu, J.W. Duckworth, Peter Ericsson, Ms.Uthaiphan Harnjai, Keith Johnson, Dr. Chaiyan Kasorndorkbua, Pornthep Katsura, Rattapol Klaichit, Kamol Komolphalin, Clark Lamberton, Ms. Pongsri Lamberton, Laurie Living, Jim Lomax, Cheaw Hon Ming Lester Mulford, Jonathan Murray, Somchai Nimnuan, Ms.Lim Siew Ping, Mark Read, Suirachai Rungkunakorn, Ms. Worawan Simaroj, Dr. Kaset Sutasha, Peerasit Tandavanitj, Lee Oon Teik Chirdphong Termtanan, Lim Aun Tiah, Chris Wood. Ms. Siraprapha Woraphat.

Compiled by Philip D. Round and Roongroj Jukmongkol


Thai and Malaysian Poachers Target Nicobar and Pied Imperial Pigeons

The Nicobar and Pied Imperial Pigeons are endangered species which frequent islands off Terengganu (Malaysia). But perhaps not for much longer. Poachers, from Malaysia and Thailand, have them in their sights, for the birds are reputed to have medicinal qualities. With the help of locals on their payroll to act as informers, the poachers are having a field day cutting down the population of these migratory birds, which visit islands such as Pulau Redang,Pulau Perhentian and Pulau Rawa from May to November every year.

"Their numbers are dwindling day-by-day due to poaching," said a worried state Wildlife Protection and National Parks Department director Rozidan Md Yasin.

The World Conservation Union has placed both species of pigeon, which come from small islands in the Indian Ocean, on its endangered list.

Rozidan said the pigeons were protected under Section 64 of the Protection of Wildlife Act 1976. "Those caught selling or shooting these pigeons can be fined up to RM6,000 and jailed three years," he pointed out.

But that has not stopped poachers killing them and other protected wildlife on the islands.

Apart from the collusion of some locals, other factors hindering the department are a lack of manpower and expertise

Rozidan told the New Straits Times today his priority was to monitor poaching in areas with a high concentration of endangered animals and birds on the mainland.

"We have only 40 rangers to monitor and protect wildlife such as the rhinoceros, sun bear, tapir and tiger on the mainland where poaching is conducted aggressively.

"We do conduct raids on islands when there are tip-offs, but our rangers are often left in the cold as poachers have informers," he added.

He said the department did not have its own boats.

(Source: New Straits Times. Contributed by Chris Shepherd, TRAFFIC SE Asia)


Renewed fears for forests as government promotes rubber and oil-palm

The "business at all costs" approach of the government may lead to a further onslaught on Thai forests as increased demand for rubber, and palm-oil, for "bio-diesel", is causing authorities to promote planting of both crops without adopting any additional environmental safeguards.

Even retired civil servants are seeking to buy cheap land in Thailand's north-east in order to capitalize on the new rubber boom. This will almost certainly mean that they will end up illegally buying National Reserve Forest Land, fuelling a new round of forest destruction. New forest clearance for rubber plantations in Pakchom District of Loei, and an adjacent parts of Nong Khai was documented in The Nation newspaper of 11 May

Meanwhile Environment Minister Yongyuth Tiyapairat has announced that the National Parks Department and the Royal Forest Department, separated as two discrete agencies as recently as 2002, could again be re-united "in order to improve forest protection". Perhaps Mr Yongyuth has a very short memory? The Royal Forest Department had over 100 years as the sole agency concerned with the conservation of Thailand's forests, and during that period it conspicuously failed to distinguish itself in the field of forest protection. On the contrary, it presided over an approximately 80% reduction in forest area, largely concerning itself with maximizing revenues from timber extraction. Could it be that the keen-ness of the old RFD 'rump' to reunite with National Parks has more to do with its desire to share in the increasing revenues for tourism—the main income-generating activity from forests since logging was banned in 1989—than it does with improving forest protection?


Laem Phak Bia -- disturbance and damage prevents Malaysian Plovers from nesting

Photos

The Marine Department is continuing construction of its 160-million baht plus "anti-erosion project" on the Laem Phak Bia sandspit. There are now three dams or barrages parallel with the shore, and two breakwaters or groynes perpendicular to the shore. A boulder embankment of approximately one-km length has additionally been built along the shoreline northwards from Chao Samran Beach to the base of the sandspit, and a further large expanse of boulders piled as a permanent flat expanse near the point, on what used to be sand-beach. The department is dredging up sand off the sandspit, and has piled it in a huge heap on the tip of the point. From here it is being transported by the truckload back to the concrete salas, and compacted, so as to prevent these expensive and ill-advisedly erected structures, built as recently as 2000, from being undermined by the sea.

There are still a few pairs of Malaysian Plovers on the point, but none have been able to nest successfully owing to disturbance. Not a shred of beach vegetation remains anywhere on the sandspit, which is now scored with track-marks from trucks and back-hoes. The point is far too disturbed to support any roosting flocks of terns or waders, and the terns are now roosting on new sandbanks, which have arisen in the bay, in an area which was previously mudflats and formerly inundated at high-tide, and which may now be the first unpredicted, unpredictable, and undesired consequence of the Laem Phak Bia construction.

As a result of BCST's vociferous and informed protest, the Marine Department and Laem Phak Bia Tambol Administrative Organization (TAO) were forced to hold a meeting to discuss the project's impact, in December 2004. Only very junior officers from the Office of Natural Resources, Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEP) and Department of Marine and Coastal Resource Conservation (DMCR), the two agencies most concerned with wetlands conservation, attended the meeting; there was no senior Marine Department figure; and no official minutes of the meeting have since been produced. Neither ONEP nor DMCR appears to have done anything other than utter platitudes since then, while the Marine Department has failed to respond to BCST's repeated requests for further information.

At present, government agencies are permitted to undertake anti-erosion projects without conducting any environmental assessment. Even though this legal protection is at present lacking, ONEP and DMCR should at least be working with the Marine Department and with the TAO to make sure some safeguards and accountability are built in to the present project. As it is, they appear to be neglecting their mandatory responsibility for the conservation of Laem Phak Bia.

BCST is concerned as to how, if ever, Laem Phak Bia will be restored to some semblance of its original condition. Although we have been verbally assured (not by any government agency, but by a representative of the engineering company that is carrying out the work) that no change in land-use is planned, BCST is concerned that Phetchaburi Province and the TAO may, in fact, be planning to construct a permanent road and perhaps other tourist facilities on the point that would utterly destroy the character of this precious and unique site.



RECENT REPORTS
March - early April 2005

An adult Malayan Night Heron was seen at Khao Nor Chuchi (Krabi) on 18 March (ST) and a male Schrenck's Bittern at Hat Yai Water Treatment Plat (Songkhla) on 21 March (ST). A single Black Baza flew over suburban Soi Rom Sai, Nong Khaem, (Bangkok) on 12 March (PDR), 10 passed over Khao Yai on 20 March (CT), and 50 were seen soaring over Ban Bua Thong (Nonthaburi) on 28 March (RT per KS). An adult male Japanese Sparrowhawk appeared at Ban Rachapruek, Nong Khaem, Bangkok on 12 March (PDR) while a male Chinese Sparrowhawk at Mosingto, Khao Yai picked up dead near the workers' quarters on 2 April (AJP, PDR, PW) had apparently been shot. This appears to be the first undoubted record for the park. A single Greater Spotted Eagle, a male Common Kestrel and a Peregrine Falcon were reported from Wat Khao Takhrao (Phetchaburi) on 10 March (CT); two juvenile Greater Spotted Eagles were still present at Ban Bang Jaak, Phetchaburi on 2 April, and a single Grey-faced Buzzard was also seen (CK). A migrant race Peregrine Falcon was present on the Khok Kham salt pans on 6 April (CK).

An Oriental Hobby was seen at Khao Khanab Nam (Krabi) on 5 March (ST). An adult Hodgson's Hawk Cuckoo that appeared in a small patch of lowland woodland at Saraphi (Chiang Mai) on 12 March (ISR) was presumed to be a migrant.

Records of a single Spoon-billed Sandpiper were received from Khok Kham on 11 March (KB,RH,GH), 12 March (PE) and 26 March (CK,SM). Seven Spoon-billed Sandpipers at Pak Thale on 12 March (PE) "on a beach pool with mangroves" at high tide on 12 March (JE,RHu et al.) is the largest count at Pak Thale this winter, and also the first sighting away from the usual out-of-use salt pans where all other sightings have been made. One was also seen on 16 March (JE,RHu). Back at Khok Kham there were 12 breeding plumage Red Knots on 12 March (PE); at least 100 Great Knots on 17 March (JE,RHu) and more than 200 Great Knots and 50 Red Knots on 26 March (KS,SM,MW). Single Long-billed Dowitchers were again seen at Khok Kham on 16 March (PS), 17 March (JE,RHu), and 26 March (SK, SM, NT, MW). Are these sightings at intervals (including that reported in the previous issue on 8 March) referrable to a single individual or does it indicate that there is a small passage through the site? Three Asian Dowitchers were reported from Khok Kham on March 17 (JE,RHu, et al.) and eight on 26 March (CK,SM), with two Red-necked Phalaropes on 12 March (KB, CG,RH, GH) and one on 26 March (KS, SM,MW). A single Nordmann's Greenshank (KS,SM,MW), two Terek Sandpipers (KS,SM,MW) and a Ruddy Turnstone (CK,SM) were found at Khok Kham on 26 March. Four Pied Avocets were seen at Pak Thale on 12 March (KB, CG, RH, GH,) and 16 March (JE,RHu, et al.).

Five Pomarine Jaegers were seen on the boat crossing to Ko Surin (Phang-nga) on 3 and 7 March (JR), and three on the boat crossing from Surat Thani to Ko Samui (Surat Thani) in 2 April (JR). One Parasitic Jaeger was seen between the mainland and Ko Surin on 3 March (JR).

There were two Heuglin's Gulls and one adult non-breeding Pallas's Gull at Laem Phak Bia on 12 Mar (SR, STh); two first -winter Pallas's Gulls and 20 Heuglin's Gulls on 21 March (PDR,KS,CT).

Ruddy Kingfishers (presumed passage migrants) were reported from Ban Krang, Kaeng Krachan on 15 March (CG,GH) and 23 March (three; UT).

Chestnut-winged Cuckoos were seen at Khao Yai (Mo-singto on 18 March and the TAT grassland on 23 March; AJP); at Kaeng Krachan (Ban Krang) on 18 March (KB,CG,RH,GH); and 24 March (heard calling: UT) and the park headquarters on 25 March (UT). Many Oriental Cuckoos were said to be passing through Ban Krang on 24 March, including some calling (UT). Indian Cuckoo was also calling on the latter date. White-fronted Scops Owls, both those seen and heard, were reported by many observers from Ban Krang during 13 March-24 March.

No fewer than 60 Plain-pouched Hornbills flew over the Karen village of Ban Kareng Kru Bo, Umphang District (Tak) on 28 March 2005 (DP per WS).

A female Giant Pitta was again seen, and another heard at Ban Krang, Kaeng Krachan on 15 March (JE,RHu, et al.). A pair was seen bathing in the stream at the same site by one lucky observer on 3 April (BL). A Crow-billed Drongo was seen at Mo-singto, Khao Yai on 3 April (PDR)., and a male Siberian Thrush on 31 March (AJP) when unusually many Eyebrowed Thrushes were present. Two Orange-headed Thrushes still present at Khao Nor Chuchi on 19 March (ST).

A male Mugimaki Flycatcher was seen at the Orchid Waterfall, Khao Yai 22 March (AJP) and a male elisae "Green-backed" Flycatcher at Khao Nor Chuchi on 6 March (ST). A possible male Fujian Niltava was reported from Doi Ang Khang on 3 March (STh). A Chestnut-headed Tesia at Doi Dong Ya Wai, Doi Phu Kha National Park (Nan) 1895 m, on 13 March (ST), is a new locality record.

LATE RECORDS:

Chiang Saen, 28 February (JR): Mekong River, Ruddy Shelduck, two, and c. 80 Spot-billed Duck; Nong Bong Kai two Great Crested Grebes, two male Gadwall, four Mallard, 30 Ferruginous Pochard and 7 Tufted Ducks, three Pied Avocets

An adult and a juvenile Red-billed Starling feeding in short grass on the lakeshore, Nong Bong Kai, 27 February, is a new species for the site, and only the second Thai record.

Mae Hia, Chiang Mai Province (JR) Merlin, 22 February.

Bung Boraphet 19 February (JR): Ferruginous Pochard 10.

At least 20 Nordmann's Greenshank at Khok Kham, 11 February (JR); 4 Dunlin at Laem Phak Bia on 16 February and one at Ban Phak Thale on 16 February (JR); 79 Great Crested Terns, and nine Lesser Crested Terns at Laem Phak Bia, 16 February (JR). Female Western Marsh Harrier and Steppe Eagle at Khao Sam Roi Yot, 12 February (JR). At least 3000 Yellow-breasted Buntings flew unto a roost at Thung Feua, Phetchaburi on 16 February.

Doi Ph Kha National Park, Nan Province (ST), including the localities of Doi Phu Sanan, Doi Dong Ya Wai, Doi Phu Fa and Doi Khang Hor:

Doi Phu Sanan, 18-19 January Black Eagle, Cutia (probably at least three different birds), Orange-barred Leaf Warbler, Coral-billed Scimitar Babbler.

Doi Dong Ya Wai, Beautiful Nuthatch three on 25-26 January.

Doi Phu Fa, Pin-tailed Pigeon (flock), 10 February; Green Cochoa min. 3, 13 and 17 January, Spectacled Barwing, 11 February.

Doi Khang Hor, Lesser Shortwing, 21 January; three Yellow-bellied Flowerpeckers, 22 January. A reported flock of White-headed Bulbuls at the Doi Phu Kha park headquarters on 23 January seems well out of range.

Thung Yai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary, Kanchanaburi Province (ST): Grey-sided Thrush, 5, Doi Khao Yai, 26 February. Two Yellow-vented Warblers, 28 February; Pygmy Wren Babbler, Doi Khao Yai on 26 February is a new locality record. The only other site in the western forest complex from which the species has previously been recorded is Doi Kajela, Umphang Wildlife Sanctuary.

Breeding records:

Doi Inthanon (ST): Grey-capped Woodpecker feeding young in the nest, 20 February. Little Pied Flycatcher nest-building, 19 February; Rufous-winged Fulvetta, nest-building, 20 February; Blyth's Leaf Warbler nest-building, 20 February.

Doi Dong Ya Wai (ST): Golden-throated Barbet excavating, 12 March, and another pair with food for young, 14 March; Black-throated Tit nest-building, 13 and 14 March; Yellow-cheeked Tit feeding young in the nest, 13 March; Large Niltava feeding young in the nest, 12-15 March; Green Cochoa nest-building, 12-14 March.

Thung Yai Naresuan (ST): Rufous-throated Partridge incubating, 26 February; Rufous-necked Hornbill feeding young in the nest, 25 February; Yellow-cheeked Tit nest and young, 26 February; Black-throated Parrotbill, nest-building, 26 February; Rufous-browed Flycatcher, feeding young in the nest, 25 February; Large Niltava one pair nest-building and another pair carrying food.

Khlong Bang Kaew, Samut Prakan, (PK, 20 March): Two Purple Swamphens feeding two black, almost moorhen-sized chicks.

Khao Yai (CT, 20 March): Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike sitting on nest.

Bangkok: nest and two eggs of Spotted Dove, 17 February, was abandoned by 22 February (BM).

Chonburi (CT, 20 March): Olive-backed Sunbird nest-building.

Khao Nor Chuchi, Krabi Province (ST); Grey-capped Woodpecker with two recently fledged young, 5 March; Red-throated Barbet with a single fledged young, 7 March; Grey-cheeked Bulbul with fledged young, 8 March; Abbott's Babbler with fledged young, 8 March.

Khao Khanab Nam, Krabi Province (ST:) Pacific Swallow with fledged young, 5 March.

Contributors: Kit Britten, Douglas Downard, James Eaton, Peter Ericsson, Chris Gooddie, Bob Harris (RH), Graham Hogan, Rob Hutchison (RHu), Pornthep Katsura, Suporn Kuslonamsanong, Benchapol Losanyaluk, Dr. Suwanna Mookachonpan, Miss B. Mountfield, Andrew J. Pierce, Dome Pratumtong, Iain Roberston (ISR), Philip D. Round, Surachai Rungkunakorn, Johannes Rydstrom, Wachara Sanguansombat, Panuwat Sasirat, Dr. Kaset Sutasha, Sopitcha Tantitadapitak, Ratirot Tarepard, Sukanya Thanombuddha (STh), Chanin Thienwiwatnukul, Nature Trails, Mongkud Wongchai, Phetprakai Wonkson.

Compiled on behalf of BCST Records Committee by Philip D. Round and Roongroj Jukmongkol.

The Work of BCST Records Committee is supported by Swarovski Optik KG.



RECENT REPORTS
January & February 2005

Four Great Crested Grebes were seen at Nong Bong Kai, Chiang Saen (Chiang Rai) on 28 February (MMe, ISR). A Streaked Shearwater, picked up by hand on Bang Pu Pier (Samut Prakan) on the evening or night of 27 February (WWF per JWKP), was the most exciting record received this month. The bird was taken into care. There was an Oriental Darter on a pond near Wat Khao Takhrao (Phetchaburi) on 16 February (MDR and WoS). A Chinese Egret was reported from Laem Phak Bia on 13 February (SK, SM,PSri). A single Painted Stork was present on the Lam Takhong Reservoir (Nakhon Ratchasima) on 19 February (MM) and there were five at Rangsit on 7 February (Wings). Three Black-headed Ibises were seen at Thung Kha (Chumphon) on 22 January (CK, CN, STh, CT).

A count of ducks at Bung Boraphet on 9 January included two Common Teals, one Northern Shoveler, 2 Common Pochards, 10 Ferruginous Ducks and 6 Tufted Ducks (SK, SM). One or more Gadwall was still present at Nong Bong Kai, where reported last month, on 23 February (SS, per KS). Numbers of ducks at various sites in Isan (NE Thailand) covered by MM during 19-22 February were rather small, numbering in tens only of most species other than Lesser Whistling Ducks. There were seven Spot-billed Ducks at Nong Han Kumpawapi (Udon Thani) on 21 February (MM); five Tufted Ducks and c. 200 Cotton Pygmy-geese at Nong Lahan (Chaiyaphum) on 20 February (MM) and another 50 Cotton Pygmy-geese at Nong Waeng, Khon Sawan (Chaiyaphum) on the same date (MM).

A single Japanese Sparrowhawk flew north over Na Thung Subdistrict (Muang, Chumphon) on 1 February (CN). An adult Japanese Sparrowhawk was seen at KU Kamphaengsaen Campus (Nakhon Pathom) on 11 February (KS).

A number of Aquila eagles were watched in paddies near Ban Bang Jaak, Muang District, Phetchaburi from at least 9 February onwards to 27 February. These included up to four Greater Spotted Eagles, a subadult and a juvenile Steppe Eagle, and four different Imperial Eagles (an adult, a subadult and two juveniles (CK,KS,SS,TS). Two juvenile Imperial Eagles and four Greater Spotted Eagles were reported at the same site on 5-6 March (CK). A juvenile Imperial Eagle was also reported from Ban Sam Yarm, Mae Tha (Lampang) on 6 March (NI, per KS). At least one juvenile Imperial Eagle and two Greater Spotted Eagles were still present on 9 March (TS). Of great concern is the fact that both Greater Spotted Eagles were feeding on dead Lesser Whistling-ducks said to have been poisoned by rice-farmers (TS).

Two Greater Spotted Eagles were also found in Chaiyaphum Province, near Ban Kut Lalom, 7 km south of Chaiyaphum town: an immature on 19 February and an adult on 22 February (MM). A dark morph Booted Eagle was photographed near Phetchaburi on 6 March (CK). Single, apparently wintering, Grey-faced Buzzards were reported from Doi Ang Khang (Chiang Mai) on 18 February (Wings) and Ban Kut Lalom on 22 February (MM). Nine Grey-faced Buzzards at Ban Bang Jaak on 27 February (CN), could herald the early commencement of return passage. Common Kestrels were reported from KU Kamphaengsaen on 9 Feb (KS) and Ban Bang Jaak (two) on 27 February (CN, PDR) and 5-6 March (CK et al.).

Four Hume's Pheasants were seen on Doi Chiang Dao (Chiang Mai) during 17-20 February (SM, MP, SW, et al.). A Black-tailed Crake was heard at a new locality, the Mae Puh Valley of Doi Ang Khang on 19 February (Wings). Five White-browed Crakes were seen at Nong Lahan on 20 February (MM). No fewer than 670 Common Coots were counted at Nong Lahan on 20 February (MM). Fields near Kamphaengsaen (Nakhon Pathom) produced 23 Grey-headed Lapwings and 100 Pacific Golden Plovers on 2 February (MDR, WoS). Ten Nordmann's Greenshanks were seen at Ko Libong (Trang) on 11 February (SS). Up to 70 Spotted Redshanks and 50 Common Greeshanks were found on a reservoir 7 km from Khong (Nakhon Ratchasima) on 22 February (MM). In addition to a single Spoon-billed Sandpiper, 38 Nordmann's Greenshanks, c. 40 Asian Dowitchers, over 100 Red Knot, 15 Great Knot and an Eastern Curlew were seen at Khok Kham on 6 February (Wings). Fifteen Sanderlings were counted at Laem Phak Bia on 13 February (SK, SM,PSri). There were c. 2000 Black-tailed Godwits and a Pied Avocet on mudflats off the Samut Sakhon Mangrove Research Center on 6 February (Wings). 1500 Black-tailed Godwits were also counted at Bang Pu on 6 March (KS). A Long-billed Dowitcher was seen at Khok Kham on 8 March (UT/Fieldguides). At least one of the three Pied Avocets reported last month from Nong Bong Kai was still present on 23 February (SS, per KS).

The jaeger reported last month at Laem Phak Bia was thought, by KS on 5 February, to be a Parasitic Jaeger rather than a Pomarine Jaeger as reported. The record is still under evaluation. The jaeger was still present on 9 February when there were also four Pallas's Gulls, including three in breeding plumage (PKh per KS). A report of ten Pallas's Gulls, but only two Heuglin's Gulls, at Laem Phak Bia on 13 February (SK,SM,PSri) turns the usual ratio of these two species on its head. Two Lesser Crested Terns, over 800 Common Terns and 8 Roseate Terns were seen on the crossing from Khura Buri to Mu Ko Surin (Phang-nga) on 26 February (MDR, WoS). Fifty Pale-capped Pigeons flew out of a roost at Thung Kha on 22 January (CK, CN, STh, CT). A flock of 17 Speckled Woodpigeons was seen on Doi Lang (Chiang Mai), at 1900 m, on 27 February (MMe,ISR). Cuckoos included a Chestnut-winged Cuckoo at Chumphon Province Sports Ground on 15 February (CN, KSuk, SS); an immature or hepatic morph Oriental Cuckoo fat Ban Bang Jaak (the Phetchaburi eagle site) on 26-27 February (CK, KS); and two grey morph (presumed) Oriental Cuckoos at Ban Krang, Kaeng Krachan on 8 March (TS). A Rusty-breasted Cuckoo (apparently a first-year male) photographed at Kaeng Krachan on 1 March (PP, per CK) was a major northwards range extension for this Sundaic species. Single male Asian Emerald Cuckoos were seen at Chumphon Provincial Sports Ground on 7 February (KK,CN) and at Salaya on 5 March (AN,PDR).

An Indian Nightjar was dazzled at night, on the road, outside Tha Ton (Chiang Mai) on 28 February (MMe,ISR). A Ruddy Kingfisher at Ban Krang, Kaeng Krachan on 8 March (TS) was a presumed passage migrant. A male Olive-backed Woodpecker was seen on the way to Thorthip Waterfall, Kaeng Krachan on 21 Feb (Borderland/UT) and a Crimson-breasted Woodpecker on Doi Lang, at 1900 m, on 26 February (MMe,ISR).

A female Giant Pitta at Kaeng Krachan on 26 February (CC) was photographed late afternoon, while coming to drink, on 28 February (CK,TS). A White-hooded Babbler reported from Km 15, Doi Inthanon (Chiang Mai) on 19 February (PL) was either new for the park or the first record there for a great many years. A pair of Chestnut-tailed Starlings investigated and entered the nest-hole of Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker at Kamphaengsaen on 2 February (MDR,WoS).

Chumphon Province Sports Ground continued to produce an unparalleled variety of smaller starlings. Twelve Asian Glossy Starlings on 12 February (CN) was a large count for the site, while the single Red-billed Starling put in another appearance there on Valentine's Day, 14 February (CN). There were two male Chestnut-cheeked Starlings on 27 and 31 January , three males and two females on 1 February (CN), and a single male on 14 February (CN). Eleven Purple-backed Starlings were counted on 27 January, and as many as 110 on 31st, and 100 on 1 February (CN). Numbers dropped thereafter, seemingly, with 50 on 7 February (KK, CN) and 12-15 birds thereafter, during 12-15 February (CN). Two to six Chestnut-tailed Starlings were also present during the January-February period. A single Rosy Starling was seen on 31 January and 1 February (CN), and there were 8 on 7 February (CN). Two more Rosy Starlings at Ban Bang Jaak on 27 February seemed to have followed the finder (CN) all the way from Chumphon! Another Rosy Starling, at Khura Buri (Phang-nga) on 26 February, was associating with Common and White-vented Mynas. A Common Starling was reported near the headquarters of Doi Inthanon on the weekend of 19-20 February (PS).

Last month's Rufous-tailed Robin remained at the Orchid Waterfall Campsite until at least 9 February (Wings). A female Bluethroat, reported from Chumphon Province Sports Ground on 22 January (CK, CN, STh, CT), needs documentation as it may be the first record for the peninsula. A female Golden Bush Robin was seen on Doi Lang on 26 February (MMe,ISR), with a single male Jerdon's Bushchat at 1200 m on Doi Lang, (by the bridge at Km 30) on the same date. Unfortunately much grassy habitat at this site (which held a Wood Snipe one year ago) had been cleared since the previous year (MMe,ISR). No Jerdon's Bushchats were found at Tha Ton when it was checked on 28 February, and clearance of tall grass here had also proceeded apace (MMe,ISR). Two male and one female Jerdon's Bushchats were also reported from Ban Rong Kla, near Phu Hin Rong Kla (Phitsanuloke) on 13 January (MDR).

Scaly Thrushes were recorded at the Orchid Waterfall Campground, Khao Yai on 30 January (SM, MP,PoS, et al.); on Doi Pui (chiang Mai) on 12 February (Wings); the summit of Doi Inthanon on 14 February (Wings) and Doi Ang Khang (two on 19 February; Wings). Two Orange-headed Thrushes at Bangmark Subdistrict, Muang District (Chumphon) had, by 24 January, been present for over one month (CN). A flock of ten Grey-sided Thrushes on the summit of Doi Pui on 12 February fed on the fruits of the shrub Debregeasia longifolia, and there were two or three on the summit of Doi Inthanon on 14 February (Wings). Another Grey-sided Thrush feeding on the fruits of the tree Schefflera heptaphylla (Araliaceae) at Mo-singto, Khao Yai on 16 February 2005 (WS) was a new bird for the park (and the first for NE Thailand). Common Blackbird was reported near the headquarters of Doi Inthanon on the weekend of 19-20 February (per LBC). Scarcer flycatchers included a male Mugimaki Flycatcher at the Orchid Waterfall campsite, Khao Yai on 23 January (SM, MP,PoS, et al.); a male Ultramarine Flycatcher at No Leh, Doi Ang Khang (Borderland/UT) on 1 March, and a female in the forest edge at 1665m Doi Lang, 27 February (MMe,ISR). Two Chestnut Munias were seen at Nong Lahan on 20 February (MM), and a male Spot-winged Grosbeak at 1600 m, Doi Lang on 27 February (MMe,ISR).

Two male Tristram's Buntings, Ban Luang, Doi Ang Khang on 1 March (Borderland/UT) must have been a beautiful sight. Over 100 Chestnut Buntings were reported from Doi Chiang Dao on 17-20 February (SM, MP, SW et al.). Generally speaking, flocks of buntings seem to have been scarce this winter.

Breeding records:

Khlong Bang Kaew, Samut Prakan, (PK, 8 March): White-browed Crake with three chicks; also one full-grown juvenile

Salaya, Nakhon Pathom: (AN,PDR, 5 March): Zebra Dove nest and two eggs; Oriental Magpie Robin incubating two eggs; another nest with one living and one dead, fly-blown nestling.

Rajabhat University, Nakhon Pathom (MDR) Small Minivet adult feeding a juvenile, 27 January.

Kamphaengsaen, Nakhon Pathom: occupied nest of Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker, 2 February (MDR, WoS)

Phanoen Thung Camspite, Kaeng Krachan (8 March, TS): nest of Yellow-vented Pigeon, with adult incubating; male seen carrying nest material at a second site.

Natung Subdistrict, Muang, Chumphon (CN): nest of White-bellied Sea Eagle with adult apparently incubating, 26 January; nest of Olive-backed Sunbird with sitting female, 12 February.

Kanchanadit, Surat Thani (SomT): Spotted Dove, nest and two young, 26 January; Streak-eared Bulbul, nest and two young, under observation from 2 February until the young fledged on 13 February.

LATE RECORDS (November 2004 - 1 January 2005) (MDR)

Rajabhat University, Nakhon Pathom. Two hooded, ernesti-like Peregrine Falcons were said to be hunting pigeons on 11 November.

Khao Yai: A male Violet Cuckoo by the headquarters, 19 December; Burmese Shrike, one by the Training Center, 19 December; Rufous-tailed Robin: one in a gully between Kong Kaeo and the Yawachaon Camp, 21 November 2004 (a different individual from the long-staying bird at the Orchid Waterfall); male Grey Buschat, 19 December; female White-throated Rock Thrush, Training Center, 19 January.

A single male Chestnut Thrush at Kio Lom, Doi Pha Hom Pok on 1 January (MDR), is the only record received this winter.

Contributors: Borderland Tour, Chaiwat Chinuparawat, Fieldguides Tour, Nurak Issarasena, Dr. Chaiyan Kaesorndokbua, Pornthep Katsura, Phasong Khaisakwattana PKh, Kanit Khanikul, Suporn Kusolnamsanong, Pornlet La-orsuwan, Mick Mellor (MMe), Mark Mallalieu, Dr. Suwanna Mookachonpan, Chukiat Nualsri, Dr. Manthanee Pairachavet, Panom Prapamuk, Mark Read (MDR), Iain Robertson, Philip Round (PDR), Pinit Saengkaew, Wangworn Sankamethavee, Ratchanee Satrulee, Worawan Simaroj (WoS), Pensri Srikaew (PSri), Dr Taweewat Supindham, Suthee Suppalakvikorn, Kampol Sukumalind (KSuk), Polwat Sukwiwat PoS), Dr. Kaset Sutasha, Smith Suthibut, Somchai Thaenklai (SomT), Sukanya Thanombuddha (STh), Chanin Thienwiwatnukul, Uthai Treesucon, Wings Bird Tour, Supaporn Wongkongkathep, World Wide Fund for Nature-Thailand Programme.

Compiled on behalf of BCST Records Committee by Philip D. Round and Roongroj Jukmongkol.



RECENT REPORTS
December 2004 - February 2005

There was an Oriental Darter at Laem Phak Bia (Phetchaburi) on 23 January (PD,JL,PDR,GW). Two nests of Painted Storks at Bung Boraphet (Nakhon Sawan) in mid January, one with four young and one with two young (KA,BBWRS) in mid January, was a new nesting record for the lake. Four Black Storks appeared at Huai Talat (Buriram) on the morning of 13 January (WCD) and another at the Mo-singto Reservoir, Khao Yai, on 21 January (PK,NK). A single Black-faced Spoonbill put in a brief appearance on mudflats off the Tachin River mouth at Samut Sakhon Mangrove Study Center on 16 January (BCST) and again on the afternoon of 22 January (YT, CT). Presumably a different bird was seen at Laem Phak Bia on 23 January (PD,JL,PDR,GW). A male Common Shelduck was apparently seen by two North American birders along the road between Khao Sam Roi Yot and Pranburi on 25 January (per CT).

Three male and one female Mallard on the Kaeng Krachan Reservoir on 28 January (PS) are of uncertain provenance, though seemed wild in their behaviour. Ten Eurasian Wigeon at Laem Phak Bia on 17 December (JW) was a new record for the site. Ducks counted at Nong Bong Kai (Chiang Rai) on 22-23 January included two female and a seeming eclipse male Falcated Duck, two male Gadwalls, a single Baer's Pochard and a Mandarin Duck (LBC). 20 Baer's Pochard at Nong Lahan (Chaiyaphum) on 20 January (LM) was the largest number seen anywhere in Thailand for several years. This may have been the first visit to the important wetland of Nong Lahan within a decade! A single Baer's Pochard was earlier reported from Huai Talat (Buriram) on 9 December (LM).

Two first-winter Pied Harriers were observed flying to a presumed roost between Wat Khao Takhrao and Khao Yoi (Phetchaburi) on 23 January (PD,JL,PDR,GW). A female Western Marsh Harrier was reported from Nong Bong Kai during the weekend of 22-23 January (LBC). A vulture taken into captivity in Kraburi (Ranong) sometime in mid to late January was assumed to be a Himalayan Griffon Vulture (per WN). The was also a report, which still needs to be confirmed, of a Himalayan Griffon Vulture being caught in Phang-nga during December and deposited in Songkhla Zoo (per SR).

There were 50 Coot at Nong Lahan on 20 January (LM). Three Pied Avocets at Nong Bong Kai, 22 January (LBC) was a new site-record. Record counts of 345 Eurasian Curlew at Pak Thale on 23 January (PD,JL,PDR,GW) and 800 Great Knot were made at Laem Phak Bia on 23 January (PD,JL,PDR,GW). There was a single Spoonbilled Sandpiper at Pak Thale on 23 January (PD,JL,PDR,GW) and, remarkably, another on the tip of the Lam Phak Bia Sandspit on 25 January (STh). There was also a Pomarine Jaeger on the tip of the Laem Phak Bia Sandspit at that time (STh).

A male Crimson-breasted Woodpecker was seen on Doi Pha Hom Pok during 1-2 January (ST). Further records of Racket-tailed Treepie in Khao Yai follow on from the sighting, the first for the headquarters area of the park, reported in the last issue. One was seen in scrub and grassland, a more typical habitat, near the Training Centre in mid-January (AJP), with two there on 27 January, plus another at the Orchid Waterfall Campground on the same day (PD,PDR,GW).

Three pairs of Cutias were observed feeding among epiphyte-laden trees on Doi Pha Hom Pok on 24-25 January (TS). Some amazing photographs of this scarce and sought-after species resulted!

A first-winter Rufous-tailed Robin photographed at the Orchid Waterfall campsite, Khao Yai on 18 January (TS), was still present on 28 January (PD,PE,JL,GW). An Orange-headed Thrush fed on fallen Jamaican cheery fruits in a garden off Ngamwongwan Road, Tung Song Hong (Bangkok) during January. It was photographed on 14 January (BM). The adult male Japanese Thrush at Khao Yai, reported in the previous issue, was still present until at least 18 January (TS). Another male Common Blackbird was reported, this time from a bridge over the Nan River, on the main access road to the headquarters of Sri Nan National Park (Nan), on 16 January (SS,S). A male Grey-winged Blackbird was seen on Doi Pha Hom Pok on 1 January (ST) and another photographed at the Doi Ang Khang Campground by PK on 26 January (per KS). A Grey-sided Thrush was seen on Doi Pha Hom Pok on 31 December (ST).

An Eastern Crowned Leaf Warbler at the Orchid Waterfall Campsite, Khao Yai, on 28 January (PD, JL,GW) was unexpected, as the species is a very scarce winterer in the park.

A Baikal Bush Warbler was observed at Khlong Bangkaew, Km 8, Bang Na-Trad (Samut Prakan) on 11 January (PK,VP). At least one male and one female or immature Mugimaki Flycatcher were observed at The Orchid waterfall campsite, Khao Yai on 18 January (TS). Two birds on Doi Pha Hom Pok on 1 January were claimed as Fujian Niltavas (ST). The record is still being assessed. There were about 10 Citrine Wagtails at Nong Lahan on 20 January (LM) and a single at Rangsit (Pathumthani) on 24 January (PD,GW).

The Red-billed Starling at Chumphon was not seen after 16 January (CN). There were still at least two first-year Rosy Starlings there on 22 January (ChT). Seven different Yellow-bellied Flowerpeckers, apparently five male and two females, were reported from Doi Pha Hom Pok on 31 December (ST).

There were two male Black-headed Buntings at Cho Lae, Mae Taeng (Chiang Mai) on 16 January (RK,LBC). Four juvenile Red Avadavats were seen with adult males and females at Khlong Bangkaew on 29 January (PK). A male Collared Grosbeak on Doi Pha Hom Pok on 30 December (ST) was only the second ever Thai record—the only previous being from the Inthanon summit 19 years ago!

Breeding records: Mo-singto, Khao Yai: short-tailed fledgling of Barred Cuckoo Dove, 1 February (JL); White-browed Scimitar Babbler nest-building, 28 January (KYAD); Tung Song Hong (Bangkok) Olive-backed Sunbird nest-building during January (BM).

Contributors: Krairat Aeamamphai, Dr. Paul Donald, Lanna Bird Club, Khao Yai Avian Diversity Project, Dr. Rungsrit Kanjanavanit, Pornthep Katsura, Napawan Katsura, Prasong Kraisakwattana, Dr. Jeremy Lindsell, Miss B. Mountfield, Lester Mulford, Wiphaphan Nakphaen, Chukiat Nualsri, Andrew J. Pierce, Vetida Pongpanich, Surachai Rungkunakorn, Taweewat Supindham, Dr. Kaset Sutasha, Yupin Tadhuwan, Sopitcha Tantitadapitak, Sukanya Thanombuddha (STh) Chirdphong Termtanan, Chanin Thienwiwatnukul (ChT), John Williamson, Gary Woodburn.

Compiled on behalf of BCST Records Committee by Philip D. Round and Roongroj Jukmongkol.



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