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Birdwatching In Isan


isanbirder

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Saw a fantastic pair of osprey from one of the restaurants overlooking Lam Da Korng (the big reservoir on the way back to Khorat from Bangkok) yesterday. They put on a great show diving down onto the water trying to catch fish before returning to a point just out of view from the restaurant. Great stuff!

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95% sure that I ID'd a Yellow-vented Flowerpecker near my home in Southern Sisaket this morning.

Only reason for mentioning it is that Lekagul/Round don't have it as being resident in Isaan, other than a blob on the Mekong (probably Kong Jiam) in Ubon province 150k away (it's listed as common in other parts of Thailand).

Anybody else seen one in Lower Isaan? Any other suggestions - I got a long close binocs look and the bright olive green back (much brighter in the sun than in the book), streaked underparts and some weird spangly colours under the tail and black tip to tail seemed pretty conclusive, but I'd want a second look to see the slight flowerpecker beak curvature to be 100%. Maybe can get a pic next time - it seemed unperturbed by my 20 metre presence.

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95% sure that I ID'd a Yellow-vented Flowerpecker near my home in Southern Sisaket this morning.

Only reason for mentioning it is that Lekagul/Round don't have it as being resident in Isaan, other than a blob on the Mekong (probably Kong Jiam) in Ubon province 150k away (it's listed as common in other parts of Thailand).

Anybody else seen one in Lower Isaan? Any other suggestions - I got a long close binocs look and the bright olive green back (much brighter in the sun than in the book), streaked underparts and some weird spangly colours under the tail and black tip to tail seemed pretty conclusive, but I'd want a second look to see the slight flowerpecker beak curvature to be 100%. Maybe can get a pic next time - it seemed unperturbed by my 20 metre presence.

I think the distribution in Lekagul is not all that accurate; Robson lists it as fairly common throughout SE Asia.

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First off an apology for the terrible pix in my last post, I should have edited them out when I saw how they came out on here.

Moving on, This morning, the first bird of a new month.

Looked just a bit bigger than a spotted dove which I thought it was when I first saw it, but that can be deceiving.

Didn't get a look at the underside or what it looked like in flight as it took off directly away from me and down.

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First off an apology for the terrible pix in my last post, I should have edited them out when I saw how they came out on here.

Moving on, This morning, the first bird of a new month.

Looked just a bit bigger than a spotted dove which I thought it was when I first saw it, but that can be deceiving.

Didn't get a look at the underside or what it looked like in flight as it took off directly away from me and down.

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Rufous-winged Buzzard I guess.

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Yes, Rufous-winged Buzzard. Unmistakable with that yellow bill. They also have an odd, shallow-winged fluttering flight which you soon get to know.

They're common near me; I've been able to watch a nest the past three breeding seasons, and this year, I have two territories under watch, and know of at least two more within walking distance of my house.

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Three poor quality shots here which I am unsure of. Taken from Nam Nao NP, Chaiyaphum province.

First 2 pics same bird.

Thanks.

The second is Collared Babbler but I am having trouble with the first.I am pretty sure it is a Cuckooshrike but I am not sure which one. I think it is either Indochinese or Black-winged but hard to say.

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Three poor quality shots here which I am unsure of. Taken from Nam Nao NP, Chaiyaphum province.

First 2 pics same bird.

Thanks.

The second is Collared Babbler but I am having trouble with the first.I am pretty sure it is a Cuckooshrike but I am not sure which one. I think it is either Indochinese or Black-winged but hard to say.

I thought Black-winged.

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I thing I really miss when I return to yasothon province, is the distinct lack of raptors ,back in the early 60,s our tented camp at ban kok talat ,was plagued by kites and vultures, used to be plenty of bazas and different types of hawks out in the scrub on the edge of the rainforest, in the cliffs on the river between Ubon and Muk ,there were fish and other types of eagles nesting, so pleased to hear that 50 years there are actually people interested in birding in isaan

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Thanks Hanno and Isanbirder.

Black-winged sounds good as is Collared Babbler. I'll give myself half a tick each as I couldn't get good views.

Incidentally, these birds appeared to be part of a mixed wave which started from what I observed to be several leaf warblers in the lead (of course I couldn't ID a single one) then a single Hainan-blue FC, Black-naped monarch, Greater Racket-tailed drongo and probably Red-billed scimitar babblers (at least 2).

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Another one of these pesky warblers, I think.

See the odd one flitting around in a reed bed and this one came out and sat on a dead branch for a couple of seconds, only time for the one shot.

Possibly thick billed reed warbler ?

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Thanks again fellas, difficult enough just seeing these small things let alone getting a good photo of them.

These reed warblers could probably live all their lives in the same small patch of reeds with no reason to come out.

The only bird photography I had done before I recently started to get interested was sea birds for my web site in NZ so I had plenty to learn.

First thing I learnt was that no matter where I am the birds are always on the other side of the tree, bush, swamp, river, whatever.

There are occasional instances when this rule is broken and a bird I want to get a photo of appears, that is when a mossie bites my neck, a red ant attacks my leg or a fly buzzes in my ear. In spite of all that sometimes I do get a photo.

The next lesson I learnt was never to touch anything before making sure it was not covered in spikes or had ants crawling all over it. There was initially a bit of pain involved in this lesson but I know now.

I have come to suspect that cameras give off some sort of a beam that scares birds., Works as well with butterflies and other things that can run or fly away.

There can be all sort of things happening, traffic rumbling past, a mower cutting grass, I even had someone using a metal cutting off saw and another stacking the cut off pieces and the bird life was taking no notice.

But when I walk quietly along with my camera birds scatter in all directions.

I know it cant be me, I'm not ugly enough to scare a bird, heck young ladies tell me all the time how handsome I am.

Anyway I'll keep persisting and one of these days I might just get a great photo of something unusual.

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There's one point you missed, Robby.

When a bird flies behind a tree, it NEVER comes out the other side.

Keep enjoying yourself. I've been birding on and off for 62 years, and I still enjoy it immensely. I used to be keen on augmenting my list; now I concentrate on my home patch, and am happy just to see species coming back after the summer/winter away. I love to watch them breeding too; after all, this is the centre of the bird's year (never mind the birders).

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Birds around here are getting interested in each other, blue tailed bee eaters have been turning up in increasing numbers and I saw some new nest holes when I went for a walk down by the river this morning.

The small pratincole will be nesting here again this year and they are getting together in twos and threes.

Also saw some little ringed plover in breeding plumage and several great egrets as well as a couple of pairs of pipits, presumably paddyfield.

There were a couple of wagtail there and still plenty of barn swallows so the winter birds haven't headed off yet.

Got my first decent photo of a grew heron this morning

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And quite a reasonable one of a yellow bellied prinia, which was calling out for a mate. First good photo I have of one as all the others I have seen have been deep in the undergrowth

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Interesting morning.

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The first Oriental Pratincoles arrived today. They'll breed here, and stay until about July. We don't get the Small... which I've only seen on the Mekong at Nong Khai.

Barn Swallows are here almost year round, with a gap (here) from mid-June to mid-July.

Meanwhile the Brahminy Kites have small young, and I see the parents change over at the nest every morning.

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Had a wander round this morning in a small patch of forest and saw this. Moustached Hawk Cuckoo I would think.

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Saw another a couple of weeks back about 100km away so this is most probably a different bird.

On the way home this one was in a small pond beside the soi. Green Sandpiper ?

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Green Sandpiper, yes.

The cuckoo... I can't see any moustache! I've forgotten whereabouts in Thailand you live, but range is often helpful with a group of very similar species such as the Hawk-Cuckoos.

Saw the Rufous-winged Buzzards building their nest this morning.... though they didn't seem to have achieved much yet!

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Green Sandpiper, yes.

The cuckoo... I can't see any moustache! I've forgotten whereabouts in Thailand you live, but range is often helpful with a group of very similar species such as the Hawk-Cuckoos.

Saw the Rufous-winged Buzzards building their nest this morning.... though they didn't seem to have achieved much yet!

Saw Rufous-winged nesting Saturday and I think that is just the way the nest looks...

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Green Sandpiper, yes.

The cuckoo... I can't see any moustache! I've forgotten whereabouts in Thailand you live, but range is often helpful with a group of very similar species such as the Hawk-Cuckoos.

Saw the Rufous-winged Buzzards building their nest this morning.... though they didn't seem to have achieved much yet!

I live in Singburi and the other one I saw was between Lopburi and Saraburi.

According to the books I have and the (10) photos on O B C site the moustache is actually a beard, which shows in my photo.

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Green Sandpiper, yes.

The cuckoo... I can't see any moustache! I've forgotten whereabouts in Thailand you live, but range is often helpful with a group of very similar species such as the Hawk-Cuckoos.

Saw the Rufous-winged Buzzards building their nest this morning.... though they didn't seem to have achieved much yet!

Saw Rufous-winged nesting Saturday and I think that is just the way the nest looks...

Yes, I've had them here three years running, and often wondered how anything stays in such flimsy nests; the chicks just before fledging look as if they're doing a balancing act! This time, one bird was bringing a stick, so presumably the nest is not yet finished.

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