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2008 THAILAND BIRD REPORTS
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 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
WESTERN FOREST COMPLEX
Two Rufous-necked Hornbills at Chong Yen, Mae Wong National Park on 26
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).
INNER GULF and PHETCHABURI AREA
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
"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
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
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 (?),
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 (www.tourtamoan.com)