Sri Nakhon Khuean Khan – Samut Prakan

Like others on here, this blog-post is not a one-off trip report – this post is an ongoing account of my trips to this small botanical garden located in Bang Krachao, Bangkok’s Green Lung. My newest trip reports (interesting species seen) will be at the top of this blogpost, with older trips further down. At the very bottom of this page you can find my current species list in taxonomic order along with the first date on which I saw each species, as well as other notes.

Sri Nakhon Khuean Khan (Khuean Khan Botanical Gardens), is an area of curated public garden and neglected former orchard, that sits within Bangkok’s ‘Green Lung’ – a riparian peninsula-cum-island within the Thai province of Samut Prakan that is almost entirely surrounded by Bangkok municipality.

For several years, I lived just across the river from this area, and could easily get there early in the morning via moto-taxis and a longtail-boat ferry ride. With this ease of accessibility, during migratory periods, or whenever I had a spare weekend morning or afternoon, I would often get to this little green gem among the concrete jungle of BKK. And despite its small size and location in the middle of Bangkok, quite a few species can be found here, especially during migration, with the eBird Hotspot list showing over 170 species, of which I’ve managed to record 92 (as of September, 2018). Even when no migrants are about, birds such as Green-billed Malkoha, Vinous-breasted Starling, and a personal favourite of mine, Stork-billed Kingfisher can be readily found.

SNKK.jpg

A – The entrance road is usually pretty quiet these days, especially since a field was cleared on the right-hand side as you walk in. Occasionally I’ve still seen Stork-billed Kingfishers flying across the road or through the cleared lot, and I once witnessed a flock of around 50 Black Baza congregating in trees on the far side of the cleared lot, but generally I walk down here as quickly as possible. However, on my first ever visit to this park in 2015, I was surprised as a Oriental Pied Hornbill (almost definitely a escapee) flew across the entrance road and landed in a tree above me!

B – This area consists of a small nursery and wooded area, and while I don’t usually spend a lot of time here (usually passing through on the way out), I have encountered Forest Wagtail here, as well as Red-billed Blue Magpie on two occasions in mid-2017 (a pair the first time and a single bird the second).

C – Before entering the more ‘wild’ areas of the park, I often walk around this edge and its pond, and have found Yellow Bittern quite often around here, as well as White-breated Waterhen. This area also seems to be popular with Stork-billed Kingfisher, and I was lucky enough to watch one calling from quite close one morning here, which is a change from them flying off a quickly as they’re seen.

D – To get to this area, you must cross a small wooden bridge over a ditch that is next to a small shrine/spirit house, and for me, this has been the most productive section of the park. At times the vegetation is thick, and the paths a little overrun, but that just adds to the appeal, both to me and the birds. Cuckoos seem to really like this area, with personal sightings of Himalayan, Indian, Chestnut-winged, Drongo and Large-hawk Cuckoo coming from here, and flycatchers also appear abundant, with Asian Brown, Taiga, Yellow-rumped, Mugimaki and Blue-and-white Flycatchers all making an appearance for me here. In early 2018, much of the undergrowth in the back half of this area was cut away for some reason; although, it will undoubtedly grow back quickly if unattended.

Other birds of note that I’ve seen in this section of the park include Forest Wagtail, Shikra, Chinese Sparrowhawk, Black Baza, Eyebrowed Thrush and Radde’s Warbler.

E – Along with ‘section D’ , this part of the park is usually the most productive for me, but despite being adjacent, the two section are not really connected, and you must backtrack through the park proper (with all the cyclists etc.), to get from D to E. Once at ‘section E’, there is dirt perimeter track that cyclists use and is a nice walk, but the best spots are 3 or 4 small tracks (that bicycles can’t get down!) that intersect the overgrown forest in this area. Birds of note that I’ve come across in this area are Black Bittern, Ashy Minivet, both Amur and Blyth’s Paradise-flycatcher, Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher, Hair-crested and Crow-billed Drongo, as well as many phylloscopus warblers, including Sakhalin Leaf Warbler that I was able to ID on call. On several occasions I’ve also seen Shikra resting in the taller trees in the western part of this section of the park.

F – This is the bird tower, which affords great views into and above the treetops. It allows you to get get great close-up views of some of the more common birds at the park, including Pink-necked Green Pigeons, sunbirds and flowerpeckers, but I’ve also had great views of Black-winged Cuckooshrike, and Black-naped Monarch, as well as seeing various raptors such as Shikra, Brahminy Kite, Black Blaza, and on one occasion Oriental Honey-buzzard.

G – A dead-end/turn-around for cyclists, I always give this little part of the part a quick look and it often seems quite birdy. I’ve seen Black BazaAshy Drongo, and Amur Paradise-flycatcher here, and it seems to also be a good place to view some of the residents such as Lineated Barbet, Green-billed Malkoha and Common Iora as they forage in the trees all around.

Aside from birds, there are many large fish in the ponds, large monitors throughout all sections, a variety of insects, large orb-weaving spiders that sometimes have their webs spread across paths in the more overgrown corners, and I’ve also come across at least two species of snake: Oriental Whip Snake and Golden Tree Snake.

2018

An increase in birding at Bang Pu, and other sites around Thailand meant that I didn’t visit SNKK as often in 2018, and moving house away from Rama III in July meant that getting to this site was far from as easy as before. Due to these factors, I only visited SNKK four times in 2018, all during the first four months of the year: once in January, twice in March, and once again in April.

Ebird Checklists for 2018:

April 11th

March 4th

March 1st

January 14th

2017

With an overall increase in birding, my visits to SNKK increased considerably throughout 2017 with a total of 22 visits: five times throughout April, thrice in February and March, twice each in January, and October, and once each in May, June, July, August, September, November and December.

Ebird Checklists for 2017:

December 17th

November 7th

October 26th

October 15th

September 3rd

August 13th

July 15th

June 17th

May 13th

April 23rd

April 20th

April 18th

April 6th

April 2nd

March 25th

March 11th

March 4th

February 11th

February 5th

February 4th

January 21st

January 9th

2016

Late 2015 saw me move to Rama III, which gave me easy access to Bang Krachao via a short moto ride and a longtail boat ride across the river. As such, 2016 saw me visit SNKK a total of 12 times: twice each in March, September, October, November and December, and once each February, April.

Ebird Checklists for 2016:

December 24th

December 11th

November 19th

November 6th

October 23rd

October 22nd

September 15th

September 11th

April 2nd

March 28th

March 25th

February 9th

2015

During 2015 is when I first really got back into birding, and as such, I didn’t really get out all that much, with 2015 seeing three visits to SNKK: one each in April, October and December.

Ebird Checklists for 2015:

December 13th

October 17th

April 18th

BIRD LIST (91+ species)

  1. Rock (Feral) Pigeon – Sept 15th 2016
  2. Red Collared-Dove – Feb 4th 2017
  3. Spotted Dove
  4. Zebra Dove
  5. Pink-necked Green Pigeon
  6. Greater Coucal
  7. Green-billed Malkoha
  8. Chestnut-winged Cuckoo
  9. Asian Koel
  10. Plaintive Cuckoo
  11. Square-tailed Drongo-cuckoo
  12. Large Hawk-cuckoo
  13. Indian Cuckoo
  14. Himalayan Cuckoo
  15. Germain’s Swiftlet
  16. House Swift
  17. Asian Palm-Swift
  18. White-breasted Waterhen
  19. Asian Openbill
  20. Little Cormorant
  21. Yellow Bittern
  22. Cinnamon Bittern
  23. Black Bittern
  24. Great Egret
  25. Little Egret
  26. Chinese Pond-heron
  27. Striated Heron
  28. Black-crowned Night-heron
  29. Oriental Honey-buzzard
  30. Black Baza
  31. Shikra
  32. Chinese Sparrowhawk
  33. Brahminy Kite
  34. Oriental Pied-hornbill
  35. Common Kingfisher
  36. Stork-billed Kingfisher
  37. Black-capped Kingfisher
  38. Collared Kingfisher
  39. Blue-tailed Bee-eater
  40. Indian Roller
  41. Dollarbird
  42. Coppersmith Barbet
  43. Lineated Barbet
    1. Tanimbar Corella
  44. Alexandrine Parakeet
  45. Ashy Minivet
  46. Black-winged Cuckooshrike
  47. Black-naped Oriole
  48. Black Drongo
  49. Ashy Drongo
  50. Crow-billed Drongo
  51. Hair-crested Drongo
  52. Greater Racket-tailed Drongo
  53. Malaysian Pied-fantail
  54. Black-naped Monarch
  55. Amur Paradise-flycatcher
  56. Blyth’s Paradise-flycatcher
  57. Red-billed Blue Magpie
  58. Racket-tailed Treepie
  59. Large-billed Crow
  60. Barn Swallow
  61. Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher
  62. Striped-throated Bulbul
  63. Yellow-vented Bulbul
  64. Steak-eared Bulbul
  65. Radde’s Warbler
  66. Dusky Warbler
  67. Eastern Crowned Warbler
  68. Pale-legged Leaf Warbler
  69. Sakhalin Leaf Warbler
  70. Arctic Warbler
  71. Common Tailorbird
  72. Dark-necked Tailorbird
  73. Asian Brown Flycatcher
  74. Dark-sided Flycatcher
  75. Oriental Magpie-robin
  76. Blue-and-white Flycatcher
  77. Yellow-rumped Flycatcher
  78. Mugimaki Flycatcher
  79. Taiga Flycatcher
  80. Eyebrowed Thrush
  81. Black-collared Starling
  82. Common Myna
  83. Vinous-breasted Starling
  84. White-vented Myna
  85. Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker
  86. Plain-throated Sunbird
  87. Olive-backed Sunbird
  88. Forest Wagtail
  89. House Sparrow
  90. Eurasian Tree Sparrow
  91. Scaly-breasted Munia

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s