Honestly, if you are only going to get a single whale on a pelagic trip, Bryde's whale is not a bad one to get...
Agree amongst the best food I've had anywhere and certainly the best value. In 3 1/2 months there, over 2 trips, I was mildly ill once. Mind you in 4 1/2 moths in Malaysia I'd never been ill at all until I went last time and made up for it with giardia so there is a certain amount of luck.There are valid complaints to be made about Thailand, but the food? It's amazing!! Glad you had an enjoyable trip overall! Thanks for the reports.
Yes. First trip to SE Asia. A few very common things in the photos but they were pretty.I checked your highlights list - you have never been in SE Asia before? So you are starting to do world birding after previously doing mostly UK/WP? The firebacks are from Sakaerat, right? The ones casually strolling on the road?
Embarrassingly, I found the terns a nightmare. Almost all the terns we saw were Whiskered Terns & Common Terns though we did have a handful of White-winged Black Terns, Gull-billed Terns & Little Terns. In addition, we saw Great Crested Tern & Caspian Tern but I am sure those will have stood out.We got up to 188 species - with still some loose ends, for example I don't really get the ID of terns in winter and what can all be reasonably there ... but it's so many birds that it's not really feasible to put for ID requests, so maybe something interesting stays hidden.
Almost all photographed birds are on iNaturalist
everyone is of course welcome to give any IDs, dispute existing etc... (the list has only 185 because we did not photograph Black-winged Kite and Asian Koel and some of the leaf warblers can be one of several species, which can't be indicated on iNaturalist in this way).
This is because they are now using baited sites with screens.While Thailand is birded intensively and there is a big birding community of which some photographers seem to share the most perfect pictures of skulking pittas and other highly desired birds almost every day on my FB feed, the birding isn't always easy. It took quite some effort to see some pittas and pheasants, and there were plenty hours without a single bird seen or heard, especially in the afternoons.
Well... Yes. Of course, you can leave it unidentifiable and I defer to the contributors to that thread but overwhelming likelihood to me is Claudia's as I understand is the outcome there. If I understand the map properly, it was from the Pha Dieo Dai boardwalk & it was the default species there on 7th & 9th November. We had one call once where the Guide was interested in Davison's at one point but the only species that we saw of that complex from both Khao Yai & Kaeng Krachan was Claudia's Leaf Warbler. Unable to comment about Phu Khiao (next time maybe). I lack the knowledge myself.but the Guide was brilliant - one of the authors of the Guide book - & I started (just started) to pick up a bit on calls... Struggling with a few photos of my own. (He relied on sonogram for Pale-legged & Sakhalin's.)Your gull list is about what I am guessing about the terns... indeed there was a large flock of Caspians, these I know Littles and Gull-billed were quite obvioua and also that many are either White-winged or Black. Then it gets more muddy - someone suggested Roseate for one tern, I have to look deeper into that.
If the supposed Dadk-sided Flyc. is just Brown, then we lose a species
Regarding the Claudia's LW, there is another thread - Warblers, Thailand - where people with far more knowledge than myself explained to me that this is probably not IDable to species.
Re Flycatchers Paul is correct absolutely on both counts, Asian Brown and male Hainan Blue, both relatively straightforward ID's. Blue-andWhite/Zappeys (both are possible in Nov) have a more extensive, well-defined breastband which is narrower centrally + blue tone is totally wrong for both sp. And for the record, though your definition of pp is correct, in Dark-sided, the longer wings do extend closer to tail tip. Judging pp accurately is not always easy (especially from photos) its relative length can alter depending on the bird's posture. Your image is a point in case.I realized I also have Brazil's East Asia book and there it's shown that Dark-sided differs from Asian Brown by long primary projection (I hope I am using the right term, it's how much the folded primaries stick out behind the secondaries, not how far along the tail they end) - and thought that our bird has it, but then we looked up many pictures online and Dark-sided has it even longer and the drawings are a tiny bit misleading in this aspect (or other subspecies not relevant for Thailand maybe?), so after a long fight, we give up and concede Asian Brown.
Hainan vs. Blue-and-white I literally don't know! I looked at many pictures of both, it seems the impression really depends on angle, fluffing of feathers ... I am really uncertain. Either one is a new species at least, never saw anything like that.