Monday 10 February 2020

Thailand 2019-2020

21st-23rd December 2019
During the Christmas and New Year period, I was lucky enough to return to Thailand, having gone in April as well. I'd visited this splendid country many times, but hadn't yet discovered the stunning birdlife found there. Despite birding in Bangkok during Easter, there were still many surprises to find in this urban paradise, at least during the two days I was there in December.

Having arrived at my grandparents' apartment, I rushed to the balcony: this was my usual birding spot every dawn and dusk in the city. It was wonderful to see House Crows, magnificent Asian Openbills and Tree Sparrows again, as well as a few lifers! 

House Crow in flight

A singing Oriental Magpie Robin

A pair of friendly Tree Sparrows

Bathing Common and White-vented Mynas

One of my favourite species in Bangkok- the Asian Openbill

White-throated Fantail

A lifer- Black-naped Monarch

Spot the Green Pigeons

Female Pink-necked Green Pigeon

24th-29th December
The majority of the trip was spent with family in Phuket, a small island in southern Thailand. Six days were spent around the island, including Christmas, and saw some incredible avifauna. There were mainly Mynas and Tree Sparrows in the town centres, and I was lucky enough to be staying in the hills, with skinks and enormous beetles! Of course there were the birds too, including Streak-eared Bulbul and Red Junglefowl, among many other species.

The Andaman Sea

The rainforests surrounding the Kamala District

Distant islands off Phuket

A Chinese Pond Heron lands on the neighbouring house

A stunning White-bellied Sea Eagle

Streak-eared Bulbul

Spotted Dove

Silhouettes of Black-naped Orioles

Christmas Day birding in the grounds of a derelict temple- Tree Sparrows

Pied Asian Starling

A beautiful Indochinese Roller

Blue-tailed Bee-eater at a rum distillery! Saw a Lesser Coucal here as well

A blurry male Olive-backed Sunbird

A Brown Skink made its way into the house!

Common Myna

Yellow-vented Bulbul, Phuket Old Town

30th-31st December 2019
We returned to Bangkok, greeted once again by the wonderful views of the Sathon District. 

Male Pink-necked Green Pigeon

Coppersmith Barbet

Sathon District, Bangkok, on New Year's Eve

1st January 2020
The start of a new year, and indeed a new decade. I took the opportunity to visit the largest park in central Bangkok, Lumpini Park. In Bangkok, your alarm is the shrill voice of a male Asian Koel advertising its presence: there is nothing like standing under a tree with this bird shrieking in it! Just by walking around this green space gave me an insight to just how many bird species in particular thrive in the city centre, ranging from storks to fantails, drongos to green pigeons: a reminder of how varied and exciting urban birding can be.

Little Egret

Probably the first video I've ever put on this blog- the call of the Asian Koel!

The male Asian Koel

Juvenile Brown Shrike

White-throated Fantail

Ashy Drongo, leucogenis subspecies- had to use manual focus for this shot, due to the vegetation!

Juvenile Blue-tailed Bee-eater- saw Common Iora near this tree as well

To end this post, here is an amazing Asian Water Monitor!

Thailand is a remarkable country, with many fantastic species. One day I hope to see a Great Hornbill and a Spoon-billed Sandpiper!