Sunday, 21 February 2010

The Local Scene in Ratchaburi

Due to time constraints this weekend, (work, a birthday party and a wedding) my birding has been restricted to a couple of hours in the local rice paddy at the rear of The Rose Garden Estate. This is a huge area and covers much of the area to the east of the town of Ratchaburi.

On Friday 19th February in the late afternoon the highlight was a male pied harrier, immediately recognisable by its monotone black head and silvery body with black upperwing coverts. In fact this bird's presence is usually announced by the panic that sets in as other birds start to scurry away and screech. Alas this harrier did not perform for the camera but now that I know he is in the area I will be back and ready to fire! The  paddy has recently been harvested so it is currently lying fallow except for thousands of ducks which are being fattened for slaughter on the remnants of the harvest. As usual there was an abundance of egrets, little and some greats, pond herons, barn swallows, plain prinias, white-throated kingfishers and I counted 4 wood sandpipers in a wet marsh.

I went back Saturday 20th February for the pied harrier but alas he was not to be sighted. There was a black shouldered kite...... but this kite does not really pack the same sort of punch as the harrier. A common kingfisher was on the premises for a while but wouldn't oblige for the camera.  I managed to get some pictures of plain backed sparrows. The yellowish markings on the higher picture indicate a female and the the male in the lower picture has rufous brown markings.

Plainbacked sparrow, passer flaveolus, Ratchaburi, 20.02.10

I counted another six green sandpipers and a 4 little ringed plovers, a couple of little cormorants and the usal egrets and openbills. Like the day before the ducks were out in their thousands. Finally I managed to stay still enough to photograph this plain prinia. 

Plain prinia, prinia inornata, Ratchaburi, 20.02.10


  1. The visitor's centre in Keang Krachan Park turns out to be more productive than we expected. You could easily pick up 20 over species at that one spot. All quality forest birds. Were there on the 22nd& 23rd February.

  2. Kaeng Krachan is in many people's opinion the best birdwatching location in Thailand. I am glad you had a good time. I hope to make a couple of visits this month as school holidays are approaching. Basically it is a place to avoid at weekends!