Sunday, January 20, 2019

A Week in Ayutthaya

Ayutthaya is an ancient capital of Thailand and UNESCO World Heritage site with many old temples some in various stages of ruin and/or restoration. As a town it leaves much to be desired. The roads are very busy and the place is not well looked after in comparison to other Thai towns. There's a general air that people can't be bothered.

After the first night in the town fairly near the railway station we moved on to a quieter place on the Chao Phraya river in the SW corner of the 'island'. The Athithara Homestay suited us very nicely and was next to an excellent quiet park with many old ruins, very few people and some relatively undisturbed wilder habitat. As a result the wildlife was pretty good and we stayed all week.

Kingfishers were particularly well represented. Up to 4 Pied Kingfishers plied the river in front of the guesthouse and Common, White-throated, Black-capped and Stork-billed Kingfishers all showed well in the park. Owls were also pretty good with Asian Barred and Spotted Owlets both showing well. Small Minivets were quite common with 2 even turning up at the railway station when we left.

Yellow Bittern was quite numerous and a wintering Thick-billed Warbler was another highlight. Lineated Barbets were particularly plentiful, Plaintive cuckoos could be quite showy and Red-wattled Lapwings were everywhere. Singing Dark-necked Tailorbird seen on first day appears to be quite unusual here perhaps.

Other wildlife included several Water Monitors, a few Common Treeshrews and at one of the outer temples (Wat Chai Watthanaram) a colony of Black-bearded Tomb Bats.
White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis
Stork-billed Kingfisher Pelargopsis capensis
Black-capped Kingfisher Halcyon pileata

Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis

Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis

Spotted Owlet Athene brama

Small Minivet Pericrocotus cinnamomeus

Red-wattled Lapwing Vanellus indicus

Plaintive Cuckoo Cacomantis merulinus

Oriental Magpie-robin Copsychus saularis

Little Cormorant Microcarbo niger

Lineated Barbet Megalaima lineata

Indochinese Roller Coracias affinis

Black-bearded Tomb Bats Taphozous melanopogon

Giant Crab Spider Sparassidae

Chinese Pond Heron Ardeola bacchus

Blue Glassy Tiger Ideopsis vulgaris

Kapok Bug Probergrothius nigricornis

Rock Dove
Red Collared Dove
Spotted Dove
Zebra Dove
Greater Coucal
Green-billed Malkoha
Asian Koel
Plaintive Cuckoo
Germain's Swiftlet
Asian Palm-Swift
White-breasted Waterhen
Red-wattled Lapwing
Whiskered Tern
Asian Openbill
Little Cormorant
Yellow Bittern
Great White Egret
Little Egret
Cattle Egret
Chinese Pond Heron
Black-crowned Night-Heron
Brahminy Kite
Asian Barred Owlet
Spotted Owlet
Eurasian Hoopoe
Common Kingfisher
Stork-billed Kingfisher
White-throated Kingfisher
Black-capped Kingfisher
Pied Kingfisher
Blue-tailed Bee-eater
Indochinese Roller
Coppersmith Barbet
Lineated Barbet
Ashy Woodswallow
Common Iora
Small Minivet
Black-naped Oriole
Black Drongo
Ashy Drongo
Malaysian Pied-Fantail
Black-naped Monarch
Large-billed Crow
Barn Swallow
Red-whiskered Bulbul
Streak-eared Bulbul
Yellow-browed Warbler
Thick-billed Warbler
Common Tailorbird
Dark-necked Tailorbird
Plain Prinia
Asian Brown Flycatcher
Oriental Magpie-Robin
Taiga Flycatcher
Common Myna
Great Myna
Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker
Paddyfield Pipit
House Sparrow
Eurasian Tree Sparrow

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