An oasis of trees at the Mekong

Robert and his family live in Chiang Khan, Loei, Thailand, along the Mekong. With mists in the mornings or golden-red sunrises, their land is an oasis of trees. Right and left of their land investors build hotels, or people tend orchards. Going down to the grassy banks of the river, tall grasses form an insect-rich vegetation, where left and right of it people burn the vegetation and grow crops. After twenty-five years trees have grown tall and there is a fair bit of unbroken canopy, formed by a great variety of tree species. Robert even has an endangered tree species growing on their land. The eastern neighbour just razed his land in January of this year, cutting all the trees on his property, where first there was a mixed vegetation of grasses and some spread-out trees. Scaly-breasted Munias fed there, but no longer. Still, Robert’s land holds firm and has an impressive diversity of life for a small patch of trees, with birds, butterflies, beetles, spiders and squirrels easily seen, and where even snakes grace the area with their presence. At night one can hear nightjars, and an owl hootted away. This post shows some of that life, in particular the birds. Twenty different bird species were seen or heard in a short span of time (clicking on the scientific name will bring you to an Wikipedia entry):

FamilyScientific nameEnglish name
AegithinidaeAegithina tiphiaCommon Iora
ArdeidaeArdeola sp.Pond-Heron
CampephagidaePericrocotus divaricatusAshy Minivet
CaprimulgidaeCaprimulgus sp.Nightjar (heard only)
CisticolidaeOrthotomus sutoriusCommon Tailorbird
CuculidaeCentropus sinensisGreater Coucal
DicaeidaeDicaeum cruentatumScarlet-backed Flowerpecker
EstrildidaeLonchura punctulataScaly-breasted Munia
MonarchidaeHypothymis azureaBlack-naped Monarch
MuscicapidaeFicedula albicilla
Muscicapa dauurica
Taiga Flycatcher
Asian Brown Flycatcher
NectariniidaeCinnyris jugularisOlive-backed Sunbird
PhylloscopidaePhylloscopus sp.Warbler
PycnonotidaeIole olivacea
Pycnonotus aurigaster
P. conradi
P. goiavier
Buff-vented Bulbul
Sooty-headed Bulbul
Streak-eared Bulbu
Yellow-vented Bulbul
RhipiduridaeRhiphidura javanicaPied Fantail
StenorostridaeCulicicapa ceylonensisGrey-headed Canary-Flycatcher
SturnidaeAcridotheres grandisGreat Myna
The twenty species that have been seen or heard. Photos of Greater Coucal and Great Myna were not taken on this location. All other photos were. There is no photo of the Nightjar. Taxonomic names follow Birds of the World.

I wanted to have photos taken at Robert’s place, which therefore includes images that are not the best quality. Some have quite some noise in it, and some are not razor-sharp. But they all (except the photos of the Great Myna and Greater Coucal that were taken in Vachirabenjatas Park in Bangkok) represent the biodiversity value that is present at Robert’s.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.