A Morning at Sri Nakorn Kuen Khan – Thailand Birding


After a pleasant few days off from a hectic birding schedule spanning the last 4 months I decided to go to Sri Nakorn Kuen Khan  Park, near my home in Bangkok, to see if I could find any interesting passage migrants. In fact, March seems to be the peak time for Zappey’s Flycatcher in Thailand and with a few sightings from various parts of the country recently I was hoping for this species to be my latest “lifer”; certainly I have found this site to be a good place for finding new birds during Spring migration over the last few years.

After a slow start, once again I found a nice collection of migrant birds in the park,including a male Zappey’s Flycatcher, spending around 3.5 hours there until the clear weather meant that grounded migrants became thin on the ground. Below are some photos I took while birding around the park this morning.

I started birding a little after 7am but typically there was not a lot of action until a little later so I amused myself by taking photos of a pair of Coppersmith Barbets that were repeatedly visiting a nest hole in order to feed their chicks.

coppersmith-barbetCoppersmith Barbet by Nick Upton

While watching these birds I also spotted some of the park’s other resident species; Asian Koel, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, Pink-necked Green Pigeon, Collared Kingfisher, Stork-billed Kingfisher, Yellow-vented Bulbul, Brown-throated Sunbird, Striated Heron and Vinous-breasted Starling. I heard a short burst of the song of Sakhalin Leaf Warbler nearby and it only took a few moments to find the bird, although as it was high above me in bad light it was hard to get a photo of it.

sakhalin-leaf-warbler2Sakhalin Leaf Warbler by Nick Upton

This species is so similar to Pale-legged Leaf Warbler that for most of the year they are more-or-less impossible to separate, but at this time of the year, when they are singing, it is easy. This is the third year in a row that I have seen and heard Sakhalin Leaf Warbler singing at Sri Nakorn Kuen Khan.

A couple of other migrants nearby were 1 Black-naped Oriole, 1 salangensis & 1 leucogenis Ashy Drongos, 1 Asian Brown Flycatcher, 7 Blue-tailed Bee-eaters and, much to my delight, a male Zappey’s Flycatcher high in a canopy. Once again the light made getting a decent photo impossible, but here is a dodgy record shot.

zappeys-flycatcherZappey’s Flycatcher by Nick Upton

This little flurry of activity happened as the skies clouded over and rain threatened, the perfect conditions for grounding migrants. However, it took a little while before I found any more species but this Eastern Jungle Crow was interesting, following me around, scolding me.

eastern-jungle-crowEastern Jungle Crow by Nick Upton

Just around the corner though there was another group of migrants with 1 Black-naped Oriole, 2 Black Drongos, 1 Crow-billed Drongo, 1 mouhoti? Ashy Drongo and a very nice Himalayan Cuckoo.

himalayan-cuckoo2Himalayan Cuckoo by Nick Upton

After this the skies cleared and migrants became a little thin on the ground. I did get nice views of 3 Black Bazas, both perched and soaring, and a brief sighting of  Forest Wagtail as well as 4 more Asian Brown Flycatchers and another singing Sakhalin Leaf Warbler.

asian-brown-flycatcher4Asian Brown Flycatcher by Nick Upton

A few other migrants that I added to the morning’s list were Oriental Dollarbird, Barn Swallow, Chinese Pond Heron, Ashy Minivet and this Hair-crested Drongo.

hair-crested-drongoHair-crested Drongo by Nick Upton

Although it was not the best morning for migrants that I have ever had at Sri Nakorn Kuen Khan, I was very happy with my Zappey’s Flycatcher and the Sakhalin Leaf Warblers. March and into April are always great months for finding scarce migrant species as they pass through Thailand, anyone who has access to a likely site would do well to go out birding as often as they can over the next few weeks to find something good of their own.

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.

Free WordPress Themes