Thursday, February 27, 2020

Ayutthaya again

Decisions, decisions. It was always our intention to return to Cambodia after our Gift Of Happiness week but with the pandemic gathering pace we thought it best to weigh up our options. And, with a direct (if rather long and mosquitos ridden) train from Udon Thani, where better to stop and take stock than Ayutthaya. 

We stayed again at the Atthitara by the Chao Phraya river in the SE of the historical park area. For an account of our previous stay see here. Once again it proved a great base for exploring some of the wilder parts of the park. Although a similar range of species seen this time there were some significant differences.

A Brown-backed Needletail on the first day was a first for me in Thailand; I've only previous seen them a few years ago in Cambodia. Possibly overlooked but this very large swift has quite a patchy distribution across the region and is pretty dramatic. Cinnamon Bittern and Bronze-winged Jacana were also additions. I was surprised not to see any Ashy Drongos but made up for it with Hair-crested Drongo.

Hair-crested Drongo Dicrurus hottentottus

Kingfishers were once again well represented, although I failed to find any Black-capped this year. Stork-billed looks to be reliable in the western part of the park and Pied Kingfishers active on the main river again. Ayutthaya also remains the only place I've come across Small Minivet.

Stork-billed Kingfisher Pelargopsis capensis

Regular winter visitors included Thick-billed, Dusky & Yellow-browed Warblers, Taiga Flycatcher, and Asian Brown Flycatcher.

Little Cormorant Microcarbo niger

Red-wattled Lapwing Vanellus indicus

Asian Water Monitor Varanus salvator

While here we decided we would travel to Chiang Mai and extend our Thai visas to cover the rest of our stay, then move to Pai; we'd never been here but had it recommended a number of times. So after a few days we took the sleeper north. It's fairly new, smart berths were pretty comfortable. While waiting for the train we watched a few Lyle's Flying Foxes flying around a large tree close by, illuminated by the station lights.

60 species in total
Hair-crested Drongo
Black-naped Monarch
Green-billed Malkoha
Grey Heron
Common Kingfisher
Pied Kingfisher
Blue-tailed Bee-eater
Small Minivet
Asian Brown Flycatcher
Brown-throated Sunbird
Rock Dove
Red Collared Dove
Spotted Dove
Zebra Dove
Greater Coucal
Asian Koel
Plaintive Cuckoo
Brown-backed Needletail
Germain's Swiftlet
Asian Palm-Swift
White-breasted Waterhen
Red-wattled Lapwing
Bronze-winged Jacana
Asian Openbill
Little Cormorant
Indian Cormorant
Yellow Bittern
Cinnamon Bittern
Great White Egret
Little Egret
Cattle Egret
Black-crowned Night-Heron
Eurasian Hoopoe
Stork-billed Kingfisher
White-throated Kingfisher
Indochinese Roller
Coppersmith Barbet
Lineated Barbet
Black-naped Oriole
Common Iora
Malaysian Pied-Fantail
Black Drongo
Brown Shrike
Large-billed Crow
Common Tailorbird
Plain Prinia
Thick-billed Warbler
Barn Swallow
Streak-eared Bulbul
Yellow-browed Warbler
Dusky Warbler
Common Myna
Great Myna
Oriental Magpie-Robin
Taiga Flycatcher
Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker
Olive-backed Sunbird
Scaly-breasted Munia
Plain-backed Sparrow

No comments: