Bang Khaem Fish Ponds, a place I have been planning to visit for a long time. But I have choosen to go to the “never visited before” eBird hotspots in Nakhon Pathom. But after having discovered Nick Upton's virtual birding videos in Youtube I decided to go as there was a video from the fish ponds.
Virtual Birding Trip near Bangkok, birds at Bang Khaem Fish Ponds
Nick Upton had made a “virtual birding” movie about the Sri Nakhon Khuean Khan Park. I also discovered that Nick Upton have a Youtube Channel Birding with Nick Upton and there are a lot of interesting birding videos.
To skip the information and to go straight to the TRIP REPORT click HERE
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
I rent a taxi for the day, the Driver wanted 2000 Baht (Summer 2020) and I pay him 2500 so he is happy every time I book his taxi. Now I have used him several times and he is getting very good to spot birds.
The area is located about 1 hour in light traffic from down Bangkok
Scan for map to Bang Khaem Fish Ponds
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
ZOOM H5 Handy Recorder
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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. 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.
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
About 75 km from Down Town Bangkok
Bang Khaem fish ponds, Nakhon Pathom
Nakhon Pathom (Thai: จังหวัดนครปฐม) is one of the central provinces (changwat) of Thailand. Neighbouring provinces are (from north clockwise) Suphan Buri, Ayutthaya, Nonthaburi, Bangkok, Samut Sakhon, Ratchaburi and Kanchanaburi. The capital city of Nakhon Pathom Province is Nakhon Pathom.
Nakhon Pathom Province is home to the Phra Pathom Chedi, a chedi commissioned by King Mongkut (Rama IV) and completed by King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) in 1870. The chedi is a reminder of the long vanished Dvaravati civilization that once flourished here and by tradition Nakhon Pathom is where Buddhism first came to Thailand. The province itself is known for its many fruit orchards.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
About 1 hour (in light early morning traffic) from Bangkok and it is like driving through the town almost all the way. But suddenly we're surrounded by fishing ponds. Follow the GPS and you will soon leave the paved road to get up on a dirt track towards north. We have fish ponds on both sides of the dirt track and there are many birds in the area.
Get up on the dirt road to drive between the ponds
Get up on the dirt road to drive between the ponds
There are dry fields between some of the ponds where you can stop, actually not many places to stop without blocking the narrow dirt track. Put there are places to stop to get out in the dry fields / meadows and you might find Little Egret nests with babies in the trees. You can hear and see them from a long way if you are there in the right season.
Walking around on the fields / meadows
Walking around on the fields / meadows
Walking around on the fields / meadows
There are mudflats as well and I had not expected to see any waders here in the middle of Thailand. But there was many waders on the mudflats but they are too far away from the road for me to make proper IDs. There was a lot of birds everywhere and you will be really busy keeping the eBird records and taking pictures.
There are many dirt roads to discover so make sure you have a lot of time. And bring plenty water in the car as it gets very hot during the day and no shadow to be found.
Mudflat in the middle of the pond
A beautiful area
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.
Nakhon Pathom 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.
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.
Sunday 9 August 2020 and we left my condo just after 6 o'clock in the morning and I started my eBird app at 07:14. I spotted 7 Little Grebes in the first ponds and looking at them with my binocular I discovered that some of them were juveniles. The juveniles was almost the same size as the adults now.
Juvenile (teenager) Little Grebe almost same size as adult
Juvenile (teenager) Little Grebe almost same size as adult
We discover two Barred Buttonquails next to the car, they were not scared until I got my camera ready and they started to run so I never got any good pictures. Most of them ended up in the garbage but I had one picture that I could use for ID. The birds disappeared in to the scrubs.
We pass some kind plantation and I spotted many Black Drongos and three Greater Painted-Snipes. The first snipe was a lonely male and then I spotted a pair of snipes. The pair was standing still in the vegetation while the lone male was flying around looking for food.
All of them too far away for any good pictures and up to date, I have never manage to come close to any Greater Painted-Snipe. But I am sure that suddenly one day I will find myself close to a Greater Painted-Snipe.
There was Blue-tailed Bee-eaters hunting over the water and I counted to 60 swallows (most likely more) flying around. I could see that the swallows had white bellies and a dark collar so it was either Barn or Pacific swallows. They were flying over the water hunting insects.
Fish farm areas and when we approached piles of food or whatever it was we could smell the stink from far away. And the piles where full of Mynas and Cattle Egrets. Even if it was a terrible smell it was nice to watch the birds looking for food. When we stopped the bird took off, but they came back after a few minutes after having getting used to the taxi.
We drove towards west and after a while the ponds had more Water Lilys (I think) and there was a lot of birds foraging in the vegetation. And this is the first time I have ever seen Bronze-winged Jacana babies.
Nymphaeaceae /ˌnɪmfiːˈeɪsiː/ is a family of flowering plants, commonly called water lilies. They live as rhizomatous aquatic herbs in temperate and tropical climates around the world.
The family contains five genera with about 70 known species. Water lilies are rooted in soil in bodies of water, with leaves and flowers floating on or emergent from the surface.
The leaves are round, with a radial notch in Nymphaea and Nuphar, but fully circular in Victoria and Euryale.
We end up on another dirt road and there is a hut at the end of the road surrounded by trees full of weavers with nests. The hut serves as a dwelling for the fish farm workers and it was nice people coming gout to assist when they learned that it is a farang coming to look for birds.
We make a U-turn and I see a lot of Cormorants in a tree. Lucky that I decided to have a look through my binoculars.
I discover that one of the Cormorant is an Oriental Darter with yellow bill and a long white throat. So I was happy to be able to put this bird on my eBird checklist. But the bird was too far away for any good pictures so the bird don't make it to my list of observed birds. There was also one Asian Openbill sitting in the tree.
I discover one Oriental Darter in the tree
I discover one Oriental Darter in the tree
Asian Golden Weaver nest
Female Asian Golden Weaver attending babies in nest
Male Asian Golden Weaver / นกกระจาบทอง
I look for fields where I can find the Indian Nightjar that I had seen in Nick Upton's video. I get out of the taxi walking over the fields looking in front of me looking through the binoculars. Lucky no one nearby to see me walking around looking through the binoculars. I never see any Indian Nightjars. But there was a couple of trees with Little Egrets.
The egrets made noise and I decided to try to make a sound recording. The birds took off when I approached but I saw one egret head in the foliage and when I came closer I discovered that it was a nest with two Little Egret babies. Turned out that these trees were full of egret nests. All nest empty except for this one with the two babies.
Recorded with my ZOOM H5 Handy Recorder. High Pass Filter applied with Audacity.
Approaching the birds in the nesting trees and they take off. I try again by sneaking up from behind in cover of some trees. I have my ZOOM H5 Handy Recorder recording all the time and we can hear my footsteps while sneaking up on the birds.
So many birds and we can hear flight calls and calls
I leave the area and the birds are back making sounds again and I sneak up on the birds from behinds some trees while having my ZOOM H5 Handy Recorder running. I managed to get a recording and I was quite happy when I was back in the taxi. We left to explore new areas to see if there was any birds.
We got close to the Oriental Pratincole and I could see that it was the same bird as I had seen on the mudflat. But in winter plumage so they did not look the same as when I spotted the birds at Lat Krabang a few months ago.
Driving back to the paved road and I spot one Asian Openbill standing with the wing up. I think the bird is sun bathing. The taxi driver think it is two birds standing there, but it looks like the bird is caught in something.
The bird is standing on a barrier around the fish pond and there is a moat around the barrier. We need to get to the bird so we can rescue the bird. But the moat is covered with water lilies and only God knows what kind of snakes and other stuff that want to attack us if we try to walk through.
We drive along the road to look for access and when we reach the corner of the fish pond we can park the car and get out on the barrier. We walk back to the Asian Openbill and the bird is caught in a line.
Today's track at Bang Khaem fish ponds, Nakhon Pathom
Bang Khaem fish ponds, Nakhon Pathom, TH Aug 23, 2020 07:14 - 12:01
Checklist Comments: Many waders that I could not ID
46 species (+3 other taxa)
Lesser Whistling-Duck 9 Flying in group around pond
Little Grebe 23 Juvenil almost as big as parent
Feral Pigeon 8
Red Collared Dove 80 28 sitting next to each other on wire
Zebra Dove 10
Greater Coucal 4
Asian Koel 1 Heard only
White-breasted Waterhen 5
Black-winged Stilt 23 Juvenile almost as big as parent
Red-wattled Lapwing 21
Little Ringed Plover 3 Feeding with an Oriental Pratincole and a Red-wattled Lapwing
Greater Painted-Snipe 3 In field. One male flying around foraging, but took off as soon as I approached with my camera. Also one pair sitting still in the field
Pheasant-tailed Jacana 3
Bronze-winged Jacana 5 One adult and two babies + One adult and one baby
Common Sandpiper 1
Wood Sandpiper 1 Feeding in the field
Barred Buttonquail 2 Two running next to me on the dirt road. Really not scared until I got my camera ready so only poor picture that I Kept for ID purpose. I ID by help of black throat.
Oriental Pratincole 6
Small Pratincole 100 Mudflat full of them together with 3 Oriental Pratincole
Asian Openbill 29 We drove by one bird that had the wing caught in a line over the fishing pond. We rescued the bird:
Oriental Darter 1 Sitting in a tree with 4 other Little Cormorant. I don't discover that it is a Darter until I look with my new binoculars and I see the white throat
Little Cormorant 42
Indian Cormorant 6 Sitting on wire over water
Purple Heron 5
Great White Egret 1
Great White/Intermediate Egret 8 Too far away for proper ID
Little Egret 53 Sitting in tree
Cattle Egret 33
Javan Pond Heron 20
pond heron sp. 15 Winter plumage
Black-winged Kite 1 Sitting in top of a single tree in one of the fields. I think it is a pigeon, but I double check with my new binoculars
White-throated Kingfisher 3
Blue-tailed Bee-eater 3 Sitting in bushes and hunt over the water
Indochinese Roller 1
Malaysian Pied-Fantail 4
Black Drongo 5
Indochinese Bushlark 1
Plain Prinia 2
Barn Swallow 4 Sitting on wire. Look like leaning to sun underside of body and it is a very strange look I never seen before, 4 birds leaning to the side
Barn/Pacific Swallow 60 Flying so not possible to ID. Might have been Barn Swallows as I later on spotted 4 Barn Swallows on a wire
Streak-eared Bulbul 2
Asian Pied Starling 6
Common Myna 3
Great Myna 45
Olive-backed Sunbird 1
Baya Weaver 1 Flushed by Asian Pied Starling foraging on the ground
Asian Golden Weaver 21
Eurasian Tree Sparrow 8
Paddyfield Pipit 2
View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/checklist/S72715637
This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (https://ebird.org/home)
The plan is to go look at some never visited eBird hotspots at the outskirts of Bangkok next Sunday. Click HERE to find out if we find any excitements.
OK, it has come to my knowledge that we have senior citizens visiting my web page. How hard can it be? So it's not very easy for them to see the blue coloured links to the next page.
Jiffy (also jiff)
noun [in SING.] informal a moment: we'll be back in a jiffy.
ORIGIN late 18th cent.: of unknown origin.
So as you understand, in a jiff pretty much depends on your internet.
So I put a “Next” button here and I hope that there isn't any problem to understand how to use that one. So just CLICK the “Next” button on your left hand side and you will be on the next page in a jiff!
Marunong ka mag-tagalog? Walang problema! Magpunta sa kabilang pahina pindutin ang “NEXT” button sa itaas
Faites vous parlez le français? Pas de problème! Pour arriver à la page suivante faites s'il vous plaît un déclic le bouton “Next” ci-dessus!
Haga usted dice el español? No hay problema! Ver la siguiente página sólo hacer clic el botón “Next” encima!
Farla parla l'italiano? Non problemi! Per vedere la prossima pagina lo scatto per favore giusto Il bottone “Next” sopra
Sprechen sie Deutsch! Kein problem! Wenn Sie die folgende Seite sehen wollen gerade klicken der Knopf “Next” oben!