Firstly, I would like to wish all the followers of this blog and anybody else not indulging in the pleasure in reading this entry a very special, very healthy and a prosperous (both in wealth and birds) 2013!
For the last few days I have been experiencing the delights of Bangkok and latterly Chiang Mai. The former city I had experienced before last Christmas but Chiang Mai, up in the north, was a new thing for me. Aside from the usual temple visits and general sightseeing I've also been getting some birding under my belt. Visits were made to Doi Inthanon National Park, home to Thailand's highest mountain peak, led by Neil Scott who for the summer months of the year is the warden of the Natural Trust's Scolt Head Island Reserve in Norfolk (http://norfolkbirderinthailand.blogspot.com/). I also went to Huay Teung Tao, a large recreational area fairly close to Chiang Mai that is owned by the military. Finally, yesterday I was reunited with my old Bangkok based friend, Dave Gandy (http://bangkokcitybirding.blogspot.com/), who took me around Doi Suthep - again close to the heart of the city - packed with people and a couple of good birds including Martens's Warbler, a bird I had never heard of before!
Today I visited a patch of land 10 minutes from my hotel in east of the city, east of the River Ping. At around 10 acres, it is surrounded by humanity with all it's garbage. The site has a lily choked stream running through it and on either side of its banks is scrubby land with a few large trees.
The ugly housing block that presides over the eastern end of my nameless patch
The lily choked water courseI got there at dawn this morning and had an array of species. Wire-tailed and Barn Swallows swilled overhead alongside Himalayan Swiftlets. White-breasted Waterhens and Moorhens frequented the marshy bits. I even found a Asian Barred Owlet briefly before it saw me and powered off ploughing into a nearby tree sending every other bird piling out in the opposite direction!
A female Stonechat
An immature Scaly-breasted Munia
A non-breeding male or female Baya Weaver
Black DrongoI'm loving my temporary patch complete with barking dogs and litter. I'll be back in the morning!