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isanbirder

Birdwatching In Isan

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Chong Mek market on the Laos border in Thailand (Thai side) earlier this week had a shop that had probably 20 cages of Red Whiskered Bulbuls. I guess the shop owner might have been a fan of the bird, but Im pretty sure they were on sale. The place crawls with border police but I guess they are totally uninterested in that part of the law!

I guess I can't add caged birds to my sighting recordsrolleyes.gif ?

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Red-whiskered Bulbuls are a favourite cagebird in SE Asia, and are common in the wild over most of the area. Not round Buriram, though!

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I have just moved to Buriram and started birdwatching here. There are few records from this area, and birding here is full of surprises... species which are not known within hundreds of miles. I would like to get in touch with other birders, especioally in Buriram and Surin provinces.

Isanbirder

Well I am no professional but I like to watch the birds around here. We have some very beautiful falcons, magpie robins, black and wite flysnappers, egrets and so on. My neighbour has a lot of chicken but I don't think they count.

Where do you live in Buriram ?

Oh i get it you are referring to birds with wings, I thought you were talking about birds without wings.

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Youre all thinking it so Ill say it.

Who let the 12 year old on the thread?smile.png

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I live in Bangkok (collared doves. pigeons and Sparrows) outside the city I lived in Surin and then Pak Chong for a few years and clocked up a number of species. Khao Yai was a huge breakthrough. To watch the hornbills (black, pied, great) was awesome. Has anybody observed hornbills outside of the national parks in Isaan?

I'm guessing the rural Thais have hunted the hornbills for its meat outside the parks. Once saw a Thai man in a village in Surin walking along the path with a black-shouldered kite he had caught in a trap.

I was at Lam Chae Dam couple of weeks back (N14deg 20' 41.14" E102deg 14' 54.01")near Khon Buri on a fishing trip and I sighted a solitary Pied Hornbill flying across a narrow stretch of water. The surrounding forest is degraded and I was pleasantly surprised to see this bird. And over at Lam Plai Mat Dam (N14 17' 05.78" E102 25' 20.16")which I frequent, there is a healthy population of Black-naped Monarch and I've had several sightings of Asian Paradise Flycatcher and White-crested Laughingthrush are well established here too even though the surrounding areas are irreparably degraded. Lately, a very large flock of whistling ducks has taken up residence at this reservoir together with hundreds of Openbills. There is also at least 2 Oriental Darters here. And there is this black and white woodpecker with a rather stubby tail and unmistakable WP flight pattern that I have seen a number of times but never seen perched. Still unsure what it is. So for most of the area being denuded, this part of Isaan still provides a sanctuary for the hardier species.

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I live in Bangkok (collared doves. pigeons and Sparrows) outside the city I lived in Surin and then Pak Chong for a few years and clocked up a number of species. Khao Yai was a huge breakthrough. To watch the hornbills (black, pied, great) was awesome. Has anybody observed hornbills outside of the national parks in Isaan?

I'm guessing the rural Thais have hunted the hornbills for its meat outside the parks. Once saw a Thai man in a village in Surin walking along the path with a black-shouldered kite he had caught in a trap.

I was at Lam Chae Dam couple of weeks back (N14deg 20' 41.14" E102deg 14' 54.01")near Khon Buri on a fishing trip and I sighted a solitary Pied Hornbill flying across a narrow stretch of water. The surrounding forest is degraded and I was pleasantly surprised to see this bird. And over at Lam Plai Mat Dam (N14 17' 05.78" E102 25' 20.16")which I frequent, there is a healthy population of Black-naped Monarch and I've had several sightings of Asian Paradise Flycatcher and White-crested Laughingthrush are well established here too even though the surrounding areas are irreparably degraded. Lately, a very large flock of whistling ducks has taken up residence at this reservoir together with hundreds of Openbills. There is also at least 2 Oriental Darters here. And there is this black and white woodpecker with a rather stubby tail and unmistakable WP flight pattern that I have seen a number of times but never seen perched. Still unsure what it is. So for most of the area being denuded, this part of Isaan still provides a sanctuary for the hardier species.

The woodpeckers are probably Spot-breasted, which is a species hived off from the Fulvous-breasted, now found only in the north.

A surprising number of species manage to survive in Isan's often unpromising-looking landscape. Openbills are everywhere this year, even up in Udon and over in Laos.

My pride and joy are the breeding Rufous-winged Buzzards.... two or three pairs of them. I've watched one pair at the nest three years running now.

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Although I cannot be 100% certain, the Fulvous breasted WP has a longer body length and red crown or vent which would have at least offered me a glimpse of compared to this pure blk/wht WP I sighted. Definitely more 'stubby' and almost tailless plus I think has a breast/chest broader than the Fulvous.

I am very tempted to call Heart-spotted but don't know if this degraded forest would support this particular specie.

Only thing left is hopefully get a pic of it next encounter.

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The female Spot-breasted doesn't have the red crown.... but you may be right! So little is known about birds across the whole eastern stretch of Thailand (outside Khao Yai) that you may get all sorts of surprises.

One day I had three Red-necked Phalaropes in the middle of a paddyfield.... why, oh why? Couldn't they find anywhere better?

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Although I cannot be 100% certain, the Fulvous breasted WP has a longer body length and red crown or vent which would have at least offered me a glimpse of compared to this pure blk/wht WP I sighted. Definitely more 'stubby' and almost tailless plus I think has a breast/chest broader than the Fulvous.

I am very tempted to call Heart-spotted but don't know if this degraded forest would support this particular specie.

Only thing left is hopefully get a pic of it next encounter.

Jack and Isanbirder, What about Pied Kingfisher? The habitat you describe - with darters and ducks and openbills etc. - would match and when moving from place to place the flight pattern could be confused with that of a WP (Though when fishing they hover). Black and white, fairly "stubby" and fairly broad chest.

Just throwing it out as a possibility since the habitat seems to match and you haven't seen it perched yet. I had a pair of these regularly when I was in Surin.

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Although I cannot be 100% certain, the Fulvous breasted WP has a longer body length and red crown or vent which would have at least offered me a glimpse of compared to this pure blk/wht WP I sighted. Definitely more 'stubby' and almost tailless plus I think has a breast/chest broader than the Fulvous.

I am very tempted to call Heart-spotted but don't know if this degraded forest would support this particular specie.

Only thing left is hopefully get a pic of it next encounter.

Jack and Isanbirder, What about Pied Kingfisher? The habitat you describe - with darters and ducks and openbills etc. - would match and when moving from place to place the flight pattern could be confused with that of a WP (Though when fishing they hover). Black and white, fairly "stubby" and fairly broad chest.

Just throwing it out as a possibility since the habitat seems to match and you haven't seen it perched yet. I had a pair of these regularly when I was in Surin.

That's an idea!

Jack, if you have Spot-breasted Woodpeckers around, you will hear them drumming. They do this quite frequently. The drumming is distinctively diminuendo.

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Although I cannot be 100% certain, the Fulvous breasted WP has a longer body length and red crown or vent which would have at least offered me a glimpse of compared to this pure blk/wht WP I sighted. Definitely more 'stubby' and almost tailless plus I think has a breast/chest broader than the Fulvous.

I am very tempted to call Heart-spotted but don't know if this degraded forest would support this particular specie.

Only thing left is hopefully get a pic of it next encounter.

Jack and Isanbirder, What about Pied Kingfisher? The habitat you describe - with darters and ducks and openbills etc. - would match and when moving from place to place the flight pattern could be confused with that of a WP (Though when fishing they hover). Black and white, fairly "stubby" and fairly broad chest.

Just throwing it out as a possibility since the habitat seems to match and you haven't seen it perched yet. I had a pair of these regularly when I was in Surin.

I've been wanting to see a Pied Kingfisher since I got to Thailand about couple of years back without success. I hear they are common around Ayutthya. Also have tried Bueng Boraphet with no luck. I am very certain what I sighted isn't one and am positive it is a WP specie. Its stout body should rule out KF and KFs really do stand out with their large bills and fairly large heads too. Mind sharing whereabouts in Surin I could get lucky?

Thanks.

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Although I cannot be 100% certain, the Fulvous breasted WP has a longer body length and red crown or vent which would have at least offered me a glimpse of compared to this pure blk/wht WP I sighted. Definitely more 'stubby' and almost tailless plus I think has a breast/chest broader than the Fulvous.

I am very tempted to call Heart-spotted but don't know if this degraded forest would support this particular specie.

Only thing left is hopefully get a pic of it next encounter.

Jack and Isanbirder, What about Pied Kingfisher? The habitat you describe - with darters and ducks and openbills etc. - would match and when moving from place to place the flight pattern could be confused with that of a WP (Though when fishing they hover). Black and white, fairly "stubby" and fairly broad chest.

Just throwing it out as a possibility since the habitat seems to match and you haven't seen it perched yet. I had a pair of these regularly when I was in Surin.

That's an idea!

Jack, if you have Spot-breasted Woodpeckers around, you will hear them drumming. They do this quite frequently. The drumming is distinctively diminuendo.

That is a great tip. Thanks! I'll keep this in mind. I actually have heard WPs (unknown and unsighted) drumming in the woods but try as I might I couldn't catch a glimpse of. Did you mean spot-breasted (fulvous) or heart-spotted?

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Spot-breasted, which all the ones in my area are. I really don't think you're going to see Heart-spotted!

AjarnNorth showed me his Pied Kingfishers near Huai Saneng, but I couldn't be more precise than that. Maybe he can pm you.

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Although I cannot be 100% certain, the Fulvous breasted WP has a longer body length and red crown or vent which would have at least offered me a glimpse of compared to this pure blk/wht WP I sighted. Definitely more 'stubby' and almost tailless plus I think has a breast/chest broader than the Fulvous.

I am very tempted to call Heart-spotted but don't know if this degraded forest would support this particular specie.

Only thing left is hopefully get a pic of it next encounter.

Jack and Isanbirder, What about Pied Kingfisher? The habitat you describe - with darters and ducks and openbills etc. - would match and when moving from place to place the flight pattern could be confused with that of a WP (Though when fishing they hover). Black and white, fairly "stubby" and fairly broad chest.

Just throwing it out as a possibility since the habitat seems to match and you haven't seen it perched yet. I had a pair of these regularly when I was in Surin.

I've been wanting to see a Pied Kingfisher since I got to Thailand about couple of years back without success. I hear they are common around Ayutthya. Also have tried Bueng Boraphet with no luck. I am very certain what I sighted isn't one and am positive it is a WP specie. Its stout body should rule out KF and KFs really do stand out with their large bills and fairly large heads too. Mind sharing whereabouts in Surin I could get lucky?

Thanks.

I will PM you directions to the spot where I would regularly see Pied Kingfisher at Huai Sanang, Surin. When you do get a positive ID on your woodpecker I will be curious to know what it is.

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Many thanks to AjarnNorth, I've successfully located the spot but dipped on the Pied KF. Instead I saw this raptor doing circuits over the fish ponds and managed a couple of shots. Hopefully they are clear enough for a positive ID. Thanks.

Pic 1. overexposed to show underwing markings.

Pic 2. normal exposure.

post-128422-0-53666300-1370430929_thumb.

post-128422-0-79456800-1370431001_thumb.

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