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Bird Conservation Society of Thailand Bulletin (BCST Bulletin)


Late December 2007 to mid-March 2008

While acknowledging the contributions of the many observers who have submitted records and retaining all records electronically, as stated in last month's RR, we will present a slimmed down version of Recent Reports for the Bulletin.


The year opened with the focus firmly on the far north. A first-year male Long-tailed Duck at Nong Bong Khai (Chiang Rai) on 6 January (DD, MD, DS) was the first record for SE Asia and perhaps the furthest south this arctic seaduck has ever been recorded. (Unconfirmed reports suggest it was first seen -- but not identified -- as early as 28 December.) It was photographed and enjoyed by a great many observers up to 13 March, but had seemingly gone by 14 March. (BK/NBKNHA).

More or less simultaneously with the eight Himalayan Griffons on Doi Lang (Chiang Mai) at 11:40 h on 30 December 2007 (BCSTB 25, no. 1) were another 18 at Mae Ngao National Park (Mae Hongson), roughly 100 km further west (GI et al.) at 12:15 h that same day. An amazing total of probably 29 different individuals probably entered the country this winter. What happened to these subsequently is a mystery (though see under Khao Yai (below).

A Glossy Ibis on a marsh at Mae Jo (Chiang Mai) during 4-13 February is the first record for the north of this seemingly increasing species. (AB, PMac). The same site held a Water Rail during 2-28 February (PMac). Another Water Rail was also present on the Naresuan University Campus (Phitsanuloke) on 21 January (MT).

Among scarcer ducks at Nong Bong Khai was a single male Gadwall on 8 January (BK, PDR) and up to 29 Ferruginous Pochards on 23 January (DD, MD). The only Baer's Pochards were single males on 23 January, 6 February (DD, MD) and 1 March (AJP). The Mekong River at Chiang Saen (Chiang Rai) held 11 Dunlins on 14 February (SS) and possibly 4 different Long-billed Plovers during January and February (DD, MD, SS).

Other exciting finds from the Chiang Saen area were a male Western Marsh Harrier photographed entering the Nong Lom roost on 13 January (TS, CW); a pale morph Booted Eagle on 8 February (DD,MD); and two nests of Grass Owl. The outcome of one, with two young on 13 January (TS,CW), was uncertain. Another, with four nestlings, found by TRG on 24 January, was certainly destroyed by a grass fire deliberately set by villagers on the following day. At least one River Tern was present at Yonok throughout January and February (DD,MD);15 Jerdon's Bushchats (10 males and 5 females) were counted at seven sites between Chiang Saen and Chiang Khong on 30 January (DD, MD) and single Rosy Pipits on 6 and 11 February (DD, MD).

The newly-established Nam Kham Nature Reserve, Chiang Saen (also known informally as "Maw Mong's nature reserve", after its founder) also provided some welcome focus. Since its establishment, scarce resident species such as Jerdon's Bushchat, and migrants such as Black-faced Bunting, have been recorded there. Thailand's first White-tailed Rubythroat for over ten years, a female, was seen there on 22 February (WB); with male on 29 February (RK) and 1 March (AJP). Coming so soon after the first record was Thailand's second Blyth's Reed Warbler on 3 March (AJP). A Masked Finfoot on the pond at Chiang Dao Hill Resort (Chiang Mai) on 25 January (BW) was a fairly sensational record but was, alas a one-day bird.

A female Blue-fronted Redstart was photographed on the summit of Doi Inthanon on 21 February (JF); a male Golden Bush Robin seen on Doi Lang on 17 January (IW) and a Long-tailed Thrush photographed there the same day (IW). Other scarcer thrushes included six Black-breasted Thrushes and a female Grey-winged Blackbird behind the Royal Project restaurant on Doi Ang Khang during 15–18 February (JF, PDR, Wings). The long-staying Common Blackbird was still present at Nong Bong Khai Non Hunting Area headquarters during 8-9 January (BK, DD, MD et al.). There were six Chestnut Thrushes on Doi Lang during 8-10 February (SM, MP, KS et al.), two on Doi Inthanon on 11 February (Wings) and the usual scattering of small numbers of Grey-sided Thrushes from many northern mountains.

Fire-tailed Sunbirds were recorded on Doi Lang intermittently through January until 8-10 February (KS, SM, MP) with at least one or two still present on 17 February (when photographed by an unknown bird photographer).


Male Gadwall at Nong Han Kumphawapi (Udon Thani) on 13 January (PB) and a Comb Duck at nearby Kanthalawichai (Udon Thani) on 28 February (NL, RP). One or two Water Rails at Nong Samrong (Udon Thani) during 7-16 January (PB).


Two Rufous-necked Hornbills at Chong Yen, Mae Wong National Park on 26 February (Panaprai?).


The single Black-necked Grebe was last seen on 20 January (KI/BBWRS). Greylag Goose was recorded for the second successive year, with a single bird present intermittently from to 21 January to 21 (or 25?) February (KI/BBWRS). One Comb Duck on 30 January (KE/BBWRS).


A Mountain Hawk Eagle was nest-building below the summit of Khao Khieo, Khao Yai on 6 February (Wings) and apparently incubating on 13 March (PDR). A juvenile Himalayan Griffon photographed on the summit of Khao Khieo, Khao Yai on 7 and 8 March (PoK, per PP) is the first park record.

Three Silver Orioles on 9 January. (PJ, RKa). An Aberrant Bush Warbler in scrub on the summit of Khao Khieo, Khao Yai on 8 January (NL, RP, DW) and present until at least 6 February (Wings) was the first record for the park of a species otherwise known only from the north-west. A Rufous-tailed Robin was at the same site on 10 January (NL, RP) and a male Japanese Thrush at Mo Singto on 26 January (T0).


Two Black-faced Spoonbills on ponds in the Hat Chao Samran-Laem Phak Bia area on 2 January (PS) remained until at least 8 February (SD,SN) with one, possibly two still present on 3 March (NB, SD).

One Common Shelduck at Ban Pak Thale (Phetchaburi) on 2 January (PJ, RKa) had increased to two by 5 January (SD, SN) and four by 31 January (SN) and 3 February (Wings). The last date is not known.

At least three Imperial Eagles, three juvenile Steppe Eagles; four Greater Spotted Eagles, and one or more dark morph Booted Eagles were present in paddies in Muang and Khao Yoi Districts of Phetchaburi in the first half of January (per TRG; further details awaited).

An Oriental Plover photographed on the sandspit at Laem Phak Bia on 7 March (CR, KT) was both new for the site and an unusually early record of this scarce passage migrant. It stayed barely two hours and was not seen by others who looked the same day.

There were many sightings of the distinctive taxon informally known as "White-faced Plover" (see "Malaysia's Mystery Plover" on Surfbirds, and also in the previous BCST Bulletin). SD and SN found and photographed one at the Artemia ponds at Laem Phak Bia on 15 December and from 5 January onwards up to three different males frequented the tip of the Laem Phak Bia sandspit where they were seen and photographed by many observers.

Other scarcer shorebirds and waterbirds recorded in the Inner Gulf during January and February were three Chinese Egrets, 45 Asian Dowitchers, 1600 Great Knots, 450 Red Knots, four Dunlins, probably 10 Spoon-billed Sandpipers, 36 Nordmann's Greenshanks and 88 Bar-tailed Godwits, and seven each of Red-necked Phalaropes and 7 Pied Avocets (BCST Survey teams; many other observers); c. 50 Great Crested Terns, one first-winter Black-tailed Gull, and adult Slender-billed Gull and at least four different Pallas's Gulls and up to 11 Heuglin's Gulls. A Pomarine Jaeger was seen at Pak Thale on 20 February (PPu). 206 Asian Dowitchers on mudflats between Kalong and Rangjan (Samut Sakhon) on 12 March (SN) are already suggestive of northwards spring passage.


Further records of White-faced Plovers were received from Ao Bang Berd, Pathiu (Chumphon) on 26 January (SS) and from Thai Muang, Phang-nga (four, on 22 February; CT). A tattler (photographed with an undoubted Grey-tailed Tattler) at Laem Pakarang (Phang-nga) on 31 January (SS) looked unusually dark and, had a short supercilium leading to speculation that it might have been a Wandering Tattler. The record is presently under consideration.

A count of no fewer than 824 Lesser Crested Terns, the largest ever, was made at Krabi on 9 January, along with 730 Terek Sandpipers and 14 Nordmann's Greenshanks (DT). An amazing total of 75 Chinese Egrets was also counted at Krabi on 27 January (DT).

A Great-billed Heron photographed at Ko Yipoon, Laem Son (Ranong) in early January is the first undoubted record of this rare species for many years. However, it could not be relocated by those who searched for it subsequently. Ten Parasitic Jaegers were seen off Ko Samui (Surat Thani) on 21 February, the identity of at least some of which were substantiated by photographs (AAA).

A male White-tailed Flycatcher at Khao Nor Chuchi (Krabi) on 30 January (Wings, YM) was a new resident bird for the site.

Up to three Chestnut-cheeked Starlings and 3-5 Rosy Starlings at Apagornkiatiwong Garden in Chumphon town during 29 January to 2 March (CN), firmly establish both species as annual visitors there.


During the reporting period, records were submitted or were received from the following observers, not all of whose names appear in the above summary:

Anonoymous or pseudonymous web-board posting (AAA); Mark Andrews (MA), Aleksey Antonov (AA), Nong Bong Khai Non-Hunting Area (NBKNHA),Tony Ball (AB), Philip Bawden (PB), Woraphot Boonkhwamdee (WB), Nick Brickle (NB), Wanlaya Chanittawong (WC), Chaiwat Chinuparawat (CC), Piyapong Chotipuntu (PC), Suchart Daengpayon (SD), Dowroong Damlamajak (DD), Mick Davies (MD), Wildlife Research Division (WRD), Dr. Gerold Dobler (GD), Krairat Eiam-amphai (KE), Sutin Ekkaphobyotin (SE), Peter Ericsson (PE), John Furse (JF), Alec and Napat Gordon (AG and NG), Richard Grimmett (RFG), Thai Raptor Group (TRG), Greg Irving GI), Kultida Ittiporn (KI), Pitchaya Janhom (PJ), Phoori Kaensarn (PoK), Rattapon Kaichid (RKa), Dr. Rungsrit Kanjanavanit (RK), Boonphob Kansiwiang (BK), Dr. Chaiyan Kasorndorkbua (CK), Uaiphorn Khwanphae (UK), Dr. Ubonrat Kiewcham (UKi), Kamchai Kitsilp (KKi), Kamol Komolphalin (KK), Somchat Lapapong (SL), Banard Lau (BL), Nitthaya Lawrence (NL), Amorn Liukiratiyutkul (AL), Paul Mackenzie (PMac), Yotin Meekaeo (YM), Dr. Suwanna Mookachonpan (SM), Lester Mulford (LM), Somchai Nimnuan (SN), Chukiat Nualsri (CN), Thiwa Ong-In (TO), Parinya Padungthin (PP), Dr. Mantanee Pairachavet (MP), Ralph Parks (RP), John Parr (JWKP), Duangrat Phothieng, Andrew J. Pierce (AJP), Korakoch Pobprasert (KP), Pichit Pumathon (PPu), Chris Rae (CR), Chanchai Rodrang (CR), Philip Round (PDR), Pinit Saengkaew (PS), Larry Sansone (LS), Pilan Sansuk (PSk), Dave Sargeant (DS), Bung Boraphet Wildlife Research Station (BBWRS), James Steward (JS), Dr. Taweewat Supindham (TS), Dr. Kaset Sutasha (KS), Smith Sutibut (SS), Dr Staporn Suvitvong (StS), Maanode Taengtum (MT), Donnapat Tamornsuwan (DT), Craig Thomas (CT), Khemthong Tonsakulrungruang (KT), Uthai Treesucon (UT), Boontan Wangsithan (BW), Ingo Waschkies (IW), David Walsh (DW), Chaiwat Wongchai (CW). Panom (?), Panaprai (?)

Compiled on behalf of BCST Records Committee by Philip Round with assistance from Dr. Chaiyan Kasorndorkbua (Thai Raptor Group), Pajaree Intravooth (BCST) and Parinya Padungtin (

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