February was a phenomenal month for birding. –Just how good was it? -Read on to find out!
Brown winged Kingfisher has been showing well in Muang Mai, and I was able to see it on the 2nd, 17th and 20th of this month. It seems the area is quite good for kingfishers as on the 2nd I also found Collared, Common, White throated and Brown winged Kingfisher as well as heard the Ruddy Kingfisher calling in the outer fringes of the mangrove plots. This area seems to be better for finding the kingfisher than the traditional site in Krabi, which may now be overused by birders.
Chinese Egret was seen at Muang Mai on the 20th and on the same day Nordmann’s Greenshank was twitched in Laem Pakarang. On the 21st three Grey headed Lapwing were seen at the Phang Nga River along with two River Lapwing and a single Marsh Sandpiper.
Two Buffy Fish Owl and two Brown Wood Owls were seen near the headquarters of Sri Phang Nga National Park on the 20th. The forest park in Thai Muang beach had a single Spotted Wood Owl on the same day, down from three the previous month.
A trip to Chieo Laan reservoir on the 6th netted a number of good raptors. At least seven Osprey were seen, along with a single Lesser Fish Eagle. As the sun set a pair of Grey headed Fish Eagle were spotted in flight near a limestone karst and at dusk a single Bat Hawk was also noted.
Lesser Fish Eagle was also seen at Sri Phang Nga on the 21st.
Migrant raptor movement for the month included a group of 32 Black Baza in flight over Sri Phang Nga National Park on the 21st and a smaller group of five Japanese Sparrowhawk catching a current near Sarasin bridge on Phuket island on the 25th.
Malayan Banded Pitta is the big news for February as birders and photographers alike are heading down to Sri Phang Nga to get in on the action. The birds have been showing since January and the window of opportunity for seeing the birds is drawing to a close as two pairs have now been established and are currently retreating into the forest to build their nests and begin rearing their young. There are two or three individuals still showing at this current time, but none of them are calling. Two males were seen at Ton Deng waterfall on the 17th and a pair (male and female) were seen near Tamnang waterfall on the 21st with another single male seen at Ton Deng Waterfall on the same day.
Other news from the region includes sightings of rare birds such as Cinnamon rumped Trogon and Black Hornbill at Krung Ching on the 23rd.
Migrants still present in the region this month include Brown Shrike, Grey Wagtail, Little Cormorant, Asian Brown Flycatcher, Taiga Flycatcher, Chinese Blue Flycatcher and Black Drongo.
Unrelated to birds but nevertheless of interest are mammal sightings from around the region: at Chieo Laan four Gaur were seen feeding on grass along the lakeside on the 6th; Lars Gibbon and a party of Spectacled Langer were seen at Sri Phang Nga on the 22nd; a single Slow Loris and three Colugo were seen at the entrance to Krung Ching on the 23rd; two Bearcats (Binturong) and another unidentified ape-like creature were seen on the trail to Krung Ching waterfall on the 24th and on the same evening a Brush-tailed Porcupine was seen crossing the road near the bus parking lot.
Updates to the site for this month includes a update to the Sri Phang Nga National Park review and the addition of photographs to a few of the site reviews for locations in Krabi. The author wishes to thank Mr. Peter Ericsson for the use of his photographs on this site.
All the photos on this post were sent in courtesy of Mrs. Anuradha. We wish to thank Mrs. Anuradha for allowing us permission to publish her pictures on this site.
The above records were compiled by Ike Suriwong and sightings were contributed by Mrs. Anuradha and Mr. Arun from India; Mr. Kit Britten from England; and lastly Mr. Kurt Pohlman from Hawaii, U.S.A.