Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

June 24, 2012

Ayutthaya Birding Day 2

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — steve_happ @ 7:56 am

Pied Kingfishers Hovering.

The bikes were all locked up this morning so I had to wait until they found the key. I must say that birding on a pushbike is an excellent technique. You can get to where you are going easily, and once there you can park the bike and just walk around.

White-throated Kingfisher
White-throated Kingfisher (Halycon smyrnensis)

I got real excited about this bird until I realized it was a White-throated Kingfisher. I thought I had a new bird because I could not see the white front from behind. He had fish for breakfast.

Green-billed Malkohas
Green-billed Malkoha (Rhopodytes tristis)

I did not get such a good shot of this bird at Ranong and it was good to see them out in the open. I am not sure if the one on the left is a juvenile.

Streak-eared Bulbul
Streak-eared Bulbul (Pycnonotus blanfordi)

I have been seeing a lot of bulbuls around but could not identify them because they were looking so plain. But I am pretty sure this is a Streak-eared Bulbul (Pycnonotus blanfordi), possibly female or immature.

 Pied Kingfisher
Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis)

The Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis) has a different method of catching fish than other kingfishers I have seen. They hover like kestrels in the one spot, and then when they spot a fish, they dive. Most other kingfishers will perch on a tree branch above a river or lake and then dive from there.

male Asian Golden Weaver
male Asian Golden Weaver (Ploceus hypoxanthus)

I came across a nest near a pond and then saw the bird coming in and out of it. I thought it was a Baya Weaver at first because that was all I knew. But on consultation with Mister Robson, I ascertained that it was an Asian Golden Weaver (Ploceus hypoxanthus) because of the black sides of the head and throat. The female is very similar to the Baya Weaver.

female Asian Golden Weaver
female Asian Golden Weaver (Ploceus hypoxanthus)

Here is the female making a different shaped nest. They really do weave.

 Red-wattled Lapwing
Red-wattled Lapwing (Vanellus indicus)

I have been seeing lots of these Red-wattled Lapwing (Vanellus indicus) in ploughed up fields.

Paddyfield Pipit
Paddyfield Pipit (Anthus rufulus)

This has been an elusive bird in Thailand and I have not got a really sharp photo of these yet. The reason may be their skittishness but also because they blend in really well with their background and there is not much contrast for the auto-focus to work properly.

Javan Pond-heron
Javan Pond-heron (Ardeola speciosa)

The way to tell the non-breeding Javan Pond-heron from the Chinese Pond-heron is that the Javan Pond-heron has white outer primary tips. Whilst the non-breeding Chinese Pond-heron has dusky primary tips.

Ayutthaya Bird List

Little Egret
Javan Pond-heron
Little Black Cormorant
Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis)
White-throated Kingfisher (Halycon smyrnensis)
Greater Coucal
Asian Golden Weaver (Ploceus hypoxanthus)
Cattle Egret
Red-wattled Lapwing
Blue-tailed Bee-eater
Plain Prinia
Streak-eared Bulbul (Pycnonotus blanfordi)
Paddyfield Pipit (Anthus rufulus)


  1. Nice pics. I spend some time in Ayutthaya from time to time.
    I was wondering if you had a some more location details for Asian golden weaver and the Pied King fisher.

    Comment by Russell Kokx — October 24, 2013 @ 4:02 pm

  2. Hi Russel. it is difficult to describe the location. but i will try. From the center of town go past the ruins of the old city. Past where the tourist elephants are. then go over the bridge and there is a small lake and a creek. that was the area for the pied kingfisher and Asian Golden weaver..

    I will try and look for it on google maps..

    Comment by admin — October 31, 2013 @ 10:41 pm

  3. sorry i cannot work it out on the maps. just go past the park with the elephants and water fountain etc. cross bridge, go left along a canal. then right along a dirt road. sorry i cannot be more exact..

    Comment by admin — October 31, 2013 @ 10:53 pm

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