1 May 2020

Bird watching trip report


Introduction

Praek Nam Daeng Marshlands & Fish Ponds is an area, well, the name says it all. It is a very beautiful area to drive around in. The area is 3 eBird hotspots, one General Area and two for two different sois. And as you drive around it is impossible to keep track of the two hotspots and I used the Praek Nam Daeng Marshlands & Fish Ponds (general area) hotspot.

• Praek Nam Daeng Marshlands & Fish Ponds (general area)
• Praek Nam Daeng Marshlands & Fish Ponds--Soi Praek Nam Daeng 10
• Praek Nam Daeng Marshlands & Fish Ponds--Soi Praek Nam Daeng 6

Fresh water area so the birds you see is very different from the birds you see in salt water habitat.

We stopped here on the way back to Bangkok when we were ready with the birding in Laem Pak Bia / Pak Thale.

To skip the information and to go straight to the TRIP REPORT click HERE

Guide

I usually don't use any bird watching Guide in / around Bangkok. But could be a good idea to have a Guide to help me identify all the birds I see. As it is now my eBird checklists are not very impressive as I can only ID half of the birds I see.

Well, I decided that it could be a good idea, and going bird watching on the 1st of May 2020 I decided to use a Guide. I contacted Wild Bird Eco Tour for a trip to Laem Phak Bia/ Pak Thale in Petchaburi.

And Wild Bird Eco Tour will pick me up at 05:30 for the trip to Phetchaburi.

And we will check out a few other eBird hotspots West of Bangkok when we are ready at Laem Phak Bia/ Pak Thale.

Wild Bird Eco Tour


Land transportation

Birding/ Bird watching at Praek Nam Daeng, Samut Songkhram, Thailand
About 100 km from the Sukhumvit / Asoke intersection in DOWN TOWN Bangkok

TODAY WE ARE GOING TO USE THE TOUR COMPANY VAN

You will need a car and if you don't have your own a taxi is a very convenient way of travelling. Depending on the early morning traffic it will take about 2 hours to reach Chao Samran. You rent the taxi for a full day and it will set you back with about 1500-3000 Baht (May 2020). To make sure that the driver understand you can show the below Thai Script:
• Praek Nam Daeng, Samut Songkhram แพรกหนามแดง, สมุทรสงคราม

Or show the driver a map. Click HERE for a map to Praek Nam Daeng, Samut Songkhram


Scan for map to Praek Nam Daeng


Get to Rama II Road on the west side of the Chao Phraya River and follow route #35. The road your going to is actually going south from Rama II road along the border between the two provinces Samut Songkhram and Ratchaburi. This is about 7 km before Rama II end merging in to Route #4

Turn off towards south from Rama II and you can enjoy birds and a beautiful landscape, end even if you're not interested in birds it is a nice drive to follow the dirt tracks along the fish ponds and paddies.


Equipment

Canon 5D Mk. III + Canon 5D Mk. IV
Canon EF 28-300/3,5-5,6 L IS USM
Canon EF 70-200/2,8L IS II USM
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens
Canon Speedlite 600EXII-RT flash
Canon PowerShot G7X Mark II
Panasonic HC-W585 video camera

Sound recorder
ZOOM H5 Handy Recorder

Binocular
Steiner Skyhawk 8x32 (Since May 2020)


Weather / climate

Weather, I don´t know if Bangkok is the hottest capital in the world. But this is what they say and I have no reason to doubt this information because it is darn hot.

Bangkok, Thailand - Climate & Temperature
Pictures from www.climatemps.com

Bangkok, Thailand - Climate & Temperature - Click picture for full size
Pictures from www.climatemps.com



References/Resources

Thai National Parks - About the National Parks in Thailand A very good web page - Do you know that there are still wild tigers, elephants, leopards, tapirs, gaurs, bears and many monkey species in many tropical rainforests across Thailand? Do you also know that around 10% of all marine species in the world can be found in Thailand? And the fact that Thailand is the best bird-watching destination in mainland Asia?

National parks are protected areas of land because they have unspoilt landscapes and a diverse number of native plants and animals. There are 127 national parks in Thailand, of them 22 marine national parks. These parks offers a diverse range of flora and fauna, home to important population of endangered species.
So now it will be easy to find out if there are any National Park close to you.

Bird Conservation Society of Thailand (BCST) - The Bird Conservation Society of Thailand (BCST) is one of the oldest Bird Conservation Society of Thailand (BCST)organisations conserving birds and nature in Thailand and is the country partner of BirdLife International. BCST's role to the local community is to spread awareness about urban birds and reconnect people back to nature.

The Logo
Dated back to 1986 when BCST was then a loosely-formed “Bangkok Birdwatching Club”, the Oriental Magpie Robin (Copsychus saularis), or “Nok Gang Ken Baan” in Thai, has been chosen to represent the organisation.

There are two sites covering Thailand and I have used them many times. These two web pages are actually everything you need for your birding adventures in Thailand. All the information you need about all the birding spots. Click on the map and then select your spot and you will have maps and everything you need to know about the areas. They have put a lot of jobs in to their web pages, North Thailand Birding and thaibirding.com A must to visit before you go bird watching in Thailand.

www.norththailandbirding.com - A one stop only for all your birding in Thailand

thaibirding.com - Nick Upton's one stop only for all your birding in Thailand.

Use both www.thaibirding.com and www.norththailandbirding.com and you have a winner. Some of the maps on www.norththailandbirding.com are way better than Nick Upton´s, while some of Nick's maps are much more detailed. So I have found that if I use both the web pages for information, well, nothing else needed.

PBase/Peter Ericson - Peter Ericson, a guy I thought was from USA because of his family name. I met him at Lat Krabang Paddies in May 2020 and turned out that he was Swedish. Anyway, I have used his excellent page PBase since 2016 as help to ID birds by the help from his beautiful bird pictures.

Here you can also find information about birding tours.

He is also having a Blog - Thaibirds and more with interesting information.

Bangkok City Birding - A lot of interesting birding stories and information on this bird watching blog by David Gandy. Bangkok-based patch-worker in Suan Rot Fai, a large park close to the city's famous weekend market. He have recorded 150 species on his patch since 2008. As one of the only big green spaces in the city, “SRF” acts as a real magnet for migrants during spring and autumn, and holds a healthy selection of "sibes" during the winter months.


ebird - Find birding hotspots with bird checklists from all over the world

Avibase - is an extensive database information system about all birds of the world, containing over 25 million records about 10,000 species and 22,000 subspecies of birds, including distribution information for 12,000 regions, taxonomy, synonyms in several languages


www.oiseaux.net This web page is also excellent for identifying birds. There is information and range maps for many many birds from all over the world. This page is almost guaranteed to give you any answer you have about any bird in the world.

Cloudbirders - Read birding trip reports from all over the world

Fatbirder - Linking birders worldwide... Wildlife Travellers see their sister site: WAND


Fatbirder is a fantastic web page with information from, I think every country in the world. My first stop when I plan for my bird watching trips. There is information about locations and guides, well, pretty much everything you need to know. Sometimes this is the only place I need to visit to plan my trip.

BirdingPal - find a birding Guide around the world

BirdingPal


And the web page you cannot live without. I have been around the world looking for birds. I usually have a Guide, but sometimes it is not possible to find a Guide. So, well, I have lost count on how many times I have had help to ID birds at BirdForum. Joining this forum have been very very good for my bird watching experience.

www.birdforum.net

ClimaTemps.com is the place to learn about the worlds climates with more than 4000 locations documented. Each aspect of the climate is represented using colour enhanced tables and professional graphs so that data can easily be compared by switching between locations in different tabs in your browser.

“A Field Guide to the Birds of Thailand and South East Asia by Craig Robson”


A Field Guide to the Birds of Thailand and South East Asia by Craig Robson

A Field Guide to the Birds of Thailand and South East Asia by Craig Robson. New edition updated with 76 species since previous edition “A Field Guide to the Birds of Thailand and South East Asia by Craig” Nick Upton at www.thaibirding.com wrote “This quite excellent book is packed full of quality illustrations and written information on 1251 species recorded in Southeast Asia”

I bought this book for bird watching in Thailand, but it goes for all over SE Asia

I have been very happy with the “A Field Guide to the Birds of Thailand and South East Asia by Craig Robson” But I had a fire in my condo 2019 and I needed to buy a new book. I was looking for the “A Field Guide to the Birds of Thailand and South East Asia by Craig Robson” as I liked the book. But this book is not available anymore so I had to buy the “A Field Guide to the Birds of Thailand” by Craig Robson.

What a disappointment this was, using the pictures in the book didn't helped to ID any birds.

“Birds of Thailand” by Uthai Treesuconand Wich'yanan Limparungpatthanakij


I met Peter Ericson, a famous bird watcher and he recommended the “Birds of Thailand” by Uthai Treesuconand Wich'yanan Limparungpatthanakij. I bought the book as soon as the book stores opened after the Wuhan virus. And I am very happy with the book and I have managed to ID some birds using the book.

Birds of Thailand by Uthai Treesuconand Wich'yanan Limparungpatthanakij

This new field guide will help you identify all 1049 species to have been recorded in the country to date, including the 20 species endemic or near-endemic to Thailand.

-Taxonomy follows the HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World.

-Detailed texts covering status, habitat and behaviour, age, sex and geographical variation, voice, and confusion species.

-Almost 2200 illustrations covering all species and distinctive subspecies, birds in flight, males and females, juveniles and non-breeding plumages, where appropriate.

-QR code for each species, linking to the Internet Bird Collection gallery of photos, videos and sounds.

-More than 1025 full-colour range maps for all species other than vagrants.

-Well-marked subspecies groups receive full accounts, and the distributions of subspecies breeding in the region are clearly mapped.

-Local species name and local conservation status included.


I like the book, but I miss the picture index.


Places to visit

Praek Nam Daeng Marshlands & Fish Ponds


Praek Nam Daeng is, well, never heard of it. The eBird hotspots is the only thing I can find about it. Mostly known for the area where they caught 400 monitor lizards back in 2013. The story was in Coconut Bangkok

Coconuts Bangkok

The area is full of fresh water ponds so the area have a lot of birds associated with fresh water ponds and rice paddies, a beautiful habitat. Close to DOWN TOWN Bangkok and easy accessible. Well worth the time to come here to look for birds and the farmland landscape.

There are 3 different eBird hotspots at Praek Nam Daeng Marshlands & Fish Ponds:

• Praek Nam Daeng Marshlands & Fish Ponds (general area)
• Praek Nam Daeng Marshlands & Fish Ponds--Soi Praek Nam Daeng 10
• Praek Nam Daeng Marshlands & Fish Ponds--Soi Praek Nam Daeng 6

I use the Praek Nam Daeng Marshlands & Fish Ponds (general area) as I can go around without thinking about the borders between the hotspots. And it is not easy to keep track of the hotspots driving around on the dirt tracks between the paddies and ponds.

Birding/ Bird watching at Praek Nam Daeng Marshlands & Fish Ponds (general area), Samut Songkhram, Thailand
eBird hotspots Praek Nam Daeng, Samut Songkhram


Praek Nam Daeng Marshlands & Fish Ponds (general area)


Take off from RAMA II road and get up on the dirt road driving south. And there is a lot of dirt track so I recommend the use of a GPS as it can be very easy to get lost and to find the way back to RAMA II road. You will drive along water for most of the time as even the rice fields are full of water until harvest.

Not much traffic on the dirt roads so it is kind of easy to park along the roads if you want to get out to walk around.

Birding/ Bird watching at Praek Nam Daeng Marshlands & Fish Ponds (general area), Samut Songkhram, Thailand
Off the highway and we drive along a canal

Birding/ Bird watching at Praek Nam Daeng Marshlands & Fish Ponds (general area), Samut Songkhram, Thailand
Follow the dirt track along a canal

Birding/ Bird watching at Praek Nam Daeng Marshlands & Fish Ponds (general area), Samut Songkhram, Thailand
Follow the dirt track along a canal

Birding/ Bird watching at Praek Nam Daeng Marshlands & Fish Ponds (general area), Samut Songkhram, Thailand
Drive along rice paddies

Birding/ Bird watching at Praek Nam Daeng Marshlands & Fish Ponds (general area), Samut Songkhram, Thailand
Drive along rice paddies

Birding/ Bird watching at Praek Nam Daeng Marshlands & Fish Ponds (general area), Samut Songkhram, Thailand
You never grow tired of the landscape,
especially when there is a chance for a bird to POP up

Birding/ Bird watching at Praek Nam Daeng Marshlands & Fish Ponds (general area), Samut Songkhram, Thailand
Drive along rice paddies

Birding/ Bird watching at Praek Nam Daeng Marshlands & Fish Ponds (general area), Samut Songkhram, Thailand
A bridge

Birding/ Bird watching at Praek Nam Daeng Marshlands & Fish Ponds (general area), Samut Songkhram, Thailand
Many dirt tracks in the area

Birding/ Bird watching at Praek Nam Daeng Marshlands & Fish Ponds (general area), Samut Songkhram, Thailand
Drive along rice paddies

Birding/ Bird watching at Praek Nam Daeng Marshlands & Fish Ponds (general area), Samut Songkhram, Thailand
Fish farms


Bird checklist

I never use any bird lists, but since I try to make it in to Cloudbirders. A very helpful site when planning your birding trips. But they ask for a bird checklist, and if I use their service, of course I want to contribute as well. My two first bird watching trip reports was rejected by Cloudbirders.

So I started to take ideas from the reports I found on Cloudbirders. So I have started to use bird lists, eBird generate one for me and I can post it on Cloudbirders. I will post my birds on eBird and on my different “BIRDS THAT I HAVE OBSERVED” pages.

Full Thai list updated to the taxonomy, nomenclature and sequence of the IOU/IOC World Bird List. The complete checklist, including Thai names and synonyms, can be downloaded in Excel format - Thailand Bird Checklist. - Version 8.2 (2018) - found at www.norththailandbirding.com

Check lists can come in handy to find out the local name of the bird etc. And Avibase have a list with pictures and sounds, excellent!

So I will post bird checklists here and if my Guides provide me with checklists I will also post them here.

Cloudbirders


Avibase - Bird Checklists of the World

Phetchaburi bird checklist from Avibase, click HERE - eBird version 2019 taxonomy

Avibase is providing you with bird checklists from all over the world. And I´m impressed by their web page. Select country and area and you get the bird checklist. Like the PDF files I got from Avibase on the links above. You also get the checklist with pictures and sounds.

The best part is that you get the local names of the birds and the online checklist gives the names in English plus the language you have selected. But it seems like the PDF cannot handle some alphabet.

For example the Japanese language so it is blank in the PDF checklist. But it worked excellent with Swedish. But you get them in the local language on the online version.


Bird list

I only list birds I have got on picture on my list of OBSERVED BIRDS. But since I started using eBird I have changed a bit. I list all the birds on the eBird checklist. See the DAY TO DAY report in the itinerary below.

And you can visit my list of “Birds I have seen in Thailand” ONLY BIRDS I HAVE ON PICTURE.


Trip Report

Praek Nam Daeng

1st of May 2020 and we were on the way back to Bangkok from Laem Pak Bia and this will be our second stop on the way back. We left route #4 coming from Phetchaburi in the south getting on road #35 (Rama II road). We left the highway after a few kilometres going south. It was a gorgeous landscape driving along a canal. And the birds was really busy singing trying to attract partners. And those bird with a partner was busy building nests.

Birding/ Bird watching at Praek Nam Daeng Marshlands & Fish Ponds (general area), Samut Songkhram, Thailand

Birding/ Bird watching at Praek Nam Daeng Marshlands & Fish Ponds (general area), Samut Songkhram, Thailand

Asian Openbill Stork, Anastomus oscitans, นกปากห่าง
Asian Openbill Stork / นกปากห่าง

Asian Golden Weaver, Ploceus hypoxanthus, นกกระจาบทอง

Birding/ Bird watching at Praek Nam Daeng Marshlands & Fish Ponds (general area), Samut Songkhram, Thailand

We got off the highway and we stopped after a couple of hundred meters. I got out and I started to walk along the canal and it was really nice to walk in the beautiful area with all the birds busy building nests and some birds was still looking for partners.

There are plenty Baya and Asian Golden Weavers building nests, the male are busy and the females are looking on giving pointers so they are happy with their new house.

I have a video that I took in Djibouti where there was Rüppell's weavers building nests all over the place. It is the same technique so by watching the video from Djibouti you get the picture on how it looks in the area when they build their nests.

Rüppell's weaver building nest in Djibouti


Birding/ Bird watching at Praek Nam Daeng Marshlands & Fish Ponds (general area), Samut Songkhram, Thailand

We continued on the dirt track driving between ponds and paddies. We spotted a Little Grebe and we were soon spotting more of them swimming around in the different ponds looking for fish. We pass a bush just next to the dirt track. And there is a Brown shrike sitting in the bush. I say stop to the driver.

I was lucky, the shrike was not scared and I could get pictures of the bird taking cover from the heat in the shadow.

Brown shrike, Lanius cristatus, นกอีเสือสีน้ำตาล

Brown shrike, Lanius cristatus, นกอีเสือสีน้ำตาล
Brown shrike / นกอีเสือสีน้ำตาล

Brown shrike, Lanius cristatus, นกอีเสือสีน้ำตาล
Brown shrike / นกอีเสือสีน้ำตาล

Brown shrike, Lanius cristatus, นกอีเสือสีน้ำตาล
Brown shrike / นกอีเสือสีน้ำตาล
Better call an Exorcist!

Birding/ Bird watching at Praek Nam Daeng Marshlands & Fish Ponds (general area), Samut Songkhram, Thailand
A new friend showing up along the road

Bronze-winged Jacana, Metopidius indicus, นกพริก

Bronze-winged Jacana, Metopidius indicus, นกพริก
Bronze-winged Jacana / นกพริก

Birding/ Bird watching at Praek Nam Daeng Marshlands & Fish Ponds (general area), Samut Songkhram, Thailand
Pond Heron - Not in breeding plumage so not possible to ID

Little Grebe, Tachybaptus ruficollis, นกเป็ดผีเล็ก

Little Grebe, Tachybaptus ruficollis, นกเป็ดผีเล็ก
Breeding plumage

Little Grebe, Tachybaptus ruficollis, นกเป็ดผีเล็ก
Little Grebe in nest - Laying eggs?

Little Grebe, Tachybaptus ruficollis, นกเป็ดผีเล็ก
Little Grebe with nest

Little Grebe, Tachybaptus ruficollis, นกเป็ดผีเล็ก
Little Grebe / นกเป็ดผีเล็ก

We entered the area at Soi Praek Nam Daeng 10 and we're leaving on Soi Praek Nam Daeng 6. So that is both the eBird hotspots, but not possible to keep track on which hotspot we're at. Or more like, who cares? Approaching Rama II Road and we pass a big pond with one Openbill and one Painted Stork together.

At the end of the pond we see a group of Lesser Whistling Duck, around 30 of them. We stopped and they all left, well, four of them stayed and I could get a picture from the road side.

Birding/ Bird watching at Praek Nam Daeng Marshlands & Fish Ponds (general area), Samut Songkhram, Thailand
Asian Openbill and a Painted Stork

Lesser Whistling Duck, Dendrocygna javanica, Indian Whistling Duck, Lesser Whistling Teal, เป็ดแดง

Lesser Whistling Duck, Dendrocygna javanica, Indian Whistling Duck, Lesser Whistling Teal, เป็ดแดง
Lesser Whistling Duck / เป็ดแดง

I don't see the Purple Heron very often, I have only seen 2 of them in Thailand. But when we got in to a small dirt track we saw 2 of them fighting, but they took off when we entered the road. There were also two Cotton Pygmy-Gooses taking off when we came. So no pictures and this was the end of the bird watching here at Praek Nam Daeng.

Birding/ Bird watching at Praek Nam Daeng Marshlands & Fish Ponds (general area), Samut Songkhram, Thailand
Today´s track at Praek Nam Daeng Marshlands & Fish Ponds


eBird

eBird Report


Praek Nam Daeng Marshlands & Fish Ponds (general area), Samut Songkhram, TH May 1, 2020 13:31 - 15:11
Protocol: Traveling
15.6 kilometer(s)
Checklist Comments: Bird watching with my Guide from Wild Bird Eco Tour
26 species (+1 other taxa)

Lesser Whistling-Duck 30
Cotton Pygmy-Goose 2
Little Grebe 11
Feral Pigeon X
Red Collared Dove 2
Zebra Dove X
Common Moorhen 1
Black-winged Stilt 6
Red-wattled Lapwing 2
Bronze-winged Jacana 2
Whiskered Tern 4
Asian Openbill X Many many
Painted Stork 3
Little Cormorant 7
Purple Heron 2
Intermediate Egret 2
Little Egret 5
Cattle Egret 2
Javan Pond Heron X Many many
pond heron sp. 5 Not in breeding plumage so not possible to ID
Brown Shrike 1
Streak-eared Bulbul 1
Asian Pied Starling 3
Common Myna 2
Baya Weaver 10
Asian Golden Weaver 10
Plain-backed Sparrow 1

View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/checklist/S68171324

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (https://ebird.org/home)

Full day and we were getting tired, but we will make a last stop at the Wat Suan Yai, วัดสวนใหญ่ in Bangkok to look for the Alexandrine Parakeet. I was told that this was the only place to see them so we will make a quick stop there before getting home. Click HERE to find out if we see any Alexandrine Parakeets.



Bird watching trip report



       
                  


                                       

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