Lat Krabang Paddies – Bangkok

Lat Krabang (LK) rice paddies consists of an area of open country that includes rice fields, reed beds, and fish ponds found not too far from Bangkok’s Suwarnabhumi International Airport. In the past, reed beds represented a large portion of the western part of this area, but in late-2019/early-2020, a lot of these reed beds were burnt to the ground to make way for more fish ponds. And while this meant a drastic reduction in a certain habitat type, initially this hasn’t seen a reduction in the number of species present; it has, however, pushed the more skulking species further into the scrubby margins of the area.

Even before the destruction of the western reed beds, this entire area was seasonably variable, with the slash and burn harvest of rice being followed by flooding of the same fields. This in turn leads to a regular variation in the number and type of species that can be found at LK – and that’s before winter migration is even considered. Once winter migration was in full swing, the potential for a very high daily species count is possible, with my personal record being 103 species on January 30th, 2021 – my first and only 100+ species list (quite an amazing number for a single site so close to the centre of Bangkok). And while the variability of the site means many species can be found anywhere depending on the state of certain fields, there are some locations at LK that are better for certain species than others, and the following is a small rundown of these locations.

As of April 2021, my personal list at Lat Krabang stands at 148 species, but the site list is closer to 200.

Lat Krabang spots

Yellow Pin – here are the coordinates for the entrance to the site (13.74141, 100.81315). Despite being only a little over 30 km from downtown Bangkok, this site is not accessible via public transport, and even if one were to take a taxi here, the site is quite large and virtually devoid of shade. In other words, private transportation to the area is probably the only way to go.

– not far into the site, on the left-hand side, were several small reed beds, that were good for crakes, weavers, and warblers, as well as other waterfowl. White-browed and Ruddy Crakes were almost always found there, along with Eurasian Moorhen and Bronze-winged Jacana, while during winter, the likes of Pallas’s Grashopper, and Baikal Bush Warblers could sometimes be found here along the more common Black-browed and Oriental Reed Warblers. However, in late March 2020, the area was being drained to be turned into more fishponds, so the productivity of this location is sure to suffer.

– I’ve never really walked into the field on the right-hand side of the access road, but over these fields is where I’ve seen Pied Harrier on several occasions, and scanning the open sky here can be productive for waterbirds in flight, including ibis, Painted Storks and Spot-billed Pelicans.

C – This area of fields seems very variable, and when muddy, very close views of small waders can be had directly from the car window, with Wood SandpiperLong-toed Stint, Black-winged Stilt, and Pin-tailed Snipe being common, but Temminck’s Stint is sometimes present in small numbers. When the fields are dry and with longer stubble, Paddyfield and Red-necked Pipits, and Yellow Wagtails are common, while Bluethroats can be abundant, and Zitting Cisticola can also be found.

D –  The above satellite image was taken before the western reed beds were razed, and almost everything green to the left of the C is now either barren fields or fish ponds. That said, there are still some scrubby areas that harbour different species more frequently including this permanent, yet relatively shallow pond. Most species of egrets can be found here, along with Little Grebe, and Pheasant-tailed Jacana, while during the early months of 2020, a flock of Garganey could usually be seen here. Additionally, just before getting to this pond, there is a scrubby hollow that can hold Pin-tailed Snipe, Bluethroat, and various other smaller birds, and I’ve even had Long-tailed Shrike here.

E – At the northeast corner of pond ‘D’ – and the whole northern margin of the site – , is an area of scrub and reeds that haven’t yet been cut down, and it is at this corner that I frequently encounter small numbers of Yellow-breasted Buntings during the winter. This location actually seems to be one of the more productive locations for me, with Bluethroat and Siberian Rubythroat being regulars, and Pallas’s Grasshopper, Black-browed Reed, and Thick-billed Warbler all showing up here, along with both Baya and Asian Golden Weavers and Red Avadavat. This is also the location that I’ve twice seen Eurasian Wryneck, but this species seems especially skittish here. Stork-billed Kingfisher can sometimes be seen – but more likely heard – further towards the housing estate at the back of this scrub.

F – Here is a large shallow pond that when wet and muddy is a good place for waders, and it’s here I’ve had all three of Long-toed, Temmick’s and Red-necked Stints, as well as Common Greenshank, but when the area is dry, not much seems to stick around. The scrubby ditch between to two ponds, however, typical holds lots of smaller birds including Bluethroat and Streaked Weaver, while snipe and both Grey-headed and Red-wattled Lapwing can also be found here.

G – This is a large, permanent deepwater pond with some scrubby margins, and while the pond itself doesn’t usually hold much, the northern margin, including a large tree found here can sometimes hold certain birds, including once to my surprise a Collared Kingfisher. The scrubby ditches here also seem to be good places to look for Greater Painted-Snipe, and this also the only place at LK I’ve had Cinnamon Bittern.

H – Since the reeds here were cleared, this large area has shifted between being dry and barren to waterlogged, and when waterlogged, there have been small numbers of numerous waders present, usually Wood and Marsh Sandpipers, Black-winged Stilts and Long-toed Stints, but occasionally other species are found here, too, including Temminck’s Stint, Kentish Plover, and Lesser Sand-plover. In March 2020, this field was also home to a very rare migrant to Thailand, an Oriental Plover, which I originally found in the field on the other side of the access road, and turned at to be a provincial first for this species.

I – An area I’ve never really explored, there is a large, shallow pond here, usually covered partly with vegetation. This pond seems popular with both species of jacana as well as Little Grebe, while it also often hold large numbers of both Little and Indian Cormorant and Lesser Whistling-duck, and I’ve also seen Garganey here.

2021

To come…

2020

I started going to Lat Krabang far more frequently in 2020 for numerous reasons, one being how quickly I could get there compared to Bang Pu. Also, at history will show, early-to-mid 2020 saw the CoVID-19 virus drastically affect the world, and when the pandemic first started to cause problems, I still went out birding a little, but tried to adhere to social distancing, and LK is by far the best site around Bangkok to go birding and still be a long way from anyone else. This initially saw me going to LK whenever I had time, with six visits alone in March 2020 – this also coincided with me finding the Oriental Plover mentioned above on March 21st.  It was also over this time that a flock of up to 50 Garganey spent some time at the site, though the clearing and conversion of the pools these birds liked meant they were forced out.  Other highlights of the year included Yellow-legged Buttonquail and Striated Grassbird in April, Baillon’s Crake and both Lanceoated and Baikal Bush Warbler in May, and a pair of Northern Shovelers in November.

Ebird Checklist for 2020

March 1st  –  March 8th  –  March 21st  –  March 22nd  –  March 27th  –  March 29th  – April 4thApril 9thApril 11thMay 4thOctober 24thNovember 8thDecember 5th

2019

In mid-April, my wife and I finally bought our own car, and with this, I found my way out to Lat Krabang more often – with two visits in April 2019 itself. In all, I made six visits to this site throughout 2019, with highlights being a Baillon’s Crake in April, Cotton Pygmy-geese in June, an Oriental Darter in August, Lesser Coucal and Yellow-breasted Bunting for the first time in November,  and Pied Harrier and Red-throated Pipit in December. Along with my overall species list at LK growing, my familiarity of the site also meant that I was increasingly seeing more species each trip.

Ebird Checklists for 2019

April 21st  –  April 27th  –  June 8th  –  August 18th  –  November 3rd  –  December 7th

2018

Not having my own car meant that I had never really thought about trying to get out to Lat Krabang, but at the end of 2018, we borrowed one of my brother-in-law’s cars for a few months, and it was during this time that I first explored LK.  Having never been to the site before, I mostly just wandered around the first several fields during my first few visits, and actually turned up a solitary Glossy Ibis my first time here. On my only other visit to LK in 2018, I also saw my first African Sacred Ibis, a feral bird found in growing numbers in central Thailand.

Ebird Checklists for 2018:

October 16th  –  November 18th

BIRD LIST (131 species)

  1. Lesser Whistling-Duck – Oct 6th, 2018
  2. Cotton Pygmy-Goose – Jun 8th, 2019
  3. Garganey – Mar 8th, 2020
  4. Northern Shoveler – Nov 8th, 2020
  5. Little Grebe – Oct 6th, 2018
  6. Feral (Rock) Pigeon – Oct 6th, 2018
  7. Red Collared-Dove – Oct 6th, 2018
  8. Spotted Dove – Oct 6th, 2018
  9. Zebra Dove – Oct 6th, 2018
  10. Pink-necked Green Pigeon – Nov 18th, 2018
  11. Greater Coucal – Apr 21st, 2019
  12. Lesser Coucal – Apr 21st, 2019
  13. Green-billed Malkhoha – Dec 5th, 2020
  14. Chestnut-winged Cuckoo – Nov 3rd, 2019
  15. Asian Koel – Oct 6th, 2018
  16. Plaintive Cuckoo – Oct 6th, 2018
  17. Indian Nightjar – Apr 11th, 2020
  18. Germain’s Swiftlet – Apr 27th, 2019
  19. House Swift – Mar 21st, 2020
  20. Asian Palm-Swift – Oct 6th, 2018
  21. Slaty-breasted Rail – Jan 30th, 2021
  22. Eurasian Moorhen – Apr 21st, 2019
  23. Grey-headed Swamphen – Apr 27th, 2019
  24. Watercock – Oct 6th, 2018
  25. White-breasted Waterhen – Oct 6th, 2018
  26. White-browed Crake – Apr 21st, 2019
  27. Ruddy-breasted Crake – Apr 21st, 2019
  28. Baillon’s Crake – Apr 21st, 2019
  29. Black-winged Stilt – Oct 6th, 2018
  30. Pacific Golden Plover – Apr 21st, 2019
  31. Grey-headed Lapwing – Oct 6th, 2018
  32. Red-wattled Lapwing – Oct 6th, 2018
  33. Lesser Sand-plover – Mar 22nd, 2020
  34. Kentish Plover – Mar 27th, 2020
  35. Little Ringed Plover – Oct 6th, 2018
  36. Oriental Plover – Mar 21st, 2020
  37. Greater Painted-Snipe – Apr 21st, 2019
  38. Pheasant-tailed Jacana – Apr 21st, 2019
  39. Bronze-winged Jacana – Oct 6th, 2018
  40. Black-tailed Godwit – Oct 6th, 2018
  41. Temminck’s Stint – Mar 1st, 2020
  42. Long-toed Stint – Oct 6th, 2018
  43. Red-necked Stint – Jan 16th, 2021
  44. Little Stint – Mar 8th, 2020
  45. Common Snipe – Oct 6th, 2018
  46. Pin-tailed Snipe – Oct 6th, 2018
  47. Common Sandpiper – Oct 6th, 2018
  48. Spotted Redshank – Jan 16th, 2021
  49. Common Greenshank – Mar 8th, 2020
  50. Marsh Sandpiper – Mar 1st, 2020
  51. Wood Sandpiper – Oct 6th, 2018
  52. Yellow-legged Buttonquail – Apr 4th, 2020
  53. Oriental Pratincole – Oct 6th, 2018
  54. White-winged Tern – Apr 21st, 2019
  55. Whiskered Tern – Oct 6th, 2018
  56. Asian Openbill – Oct 6th, 2018
  57. Painted Stork – Nov 18th, 2018
  58. Oriental Darter – Aug 18th, 2019
  59. Little Cormorant – Oct 6th, 2018
  60. Indian Cormorant – Apr 27th, 2019
  61. Spot-billed Pelican – Nov 18th, 2019
  62. Yellow Bittern – Nov 18th, 2019
  63. Cinnamon Bittern – Mar 21st 2020
  64. Black Bittern – Apr 21st, 2019
  65. Grey Heron – Nov 18th, 2018
  66. Purple Heron – Oct 6th, 2018
  67. Great Egret – Oct 6th, 2018
  68. Intermediate Egret – Jun 8th, 2019
  69. Little Egret – Oct 6th, 2018
  70. Cattle Egret – Oct 6th, 2018
  71. Chinese Pond-heron – Apr 21st, 2019
  72. Javan Pond-heron – Apr 21st, 2019
  73. Striated Heron – Dec 5th, 2020
  74. Black-crowned Night-heron – Apr 21st, 2019
  75. Glossy Ibis – Oct 6th, 2018
  76. African Sacred Ibis – Nov 18th, 2018
  77. Black-necked Ibis – Nov 18th, 2018
  78. Black-winged Kite – Mar 1st, 2020
  79. Eastern Marsh Harrier – Jan 4th, 2021
  80. Pied Harrier – Dec 7th, 2019
  81. Shikra – Jan 16th, 2021
  82. Brahminy Kite – Nov 8th, 2020
  83. Common Kingfisher – Oct 6th, 2018
  84. Stork-billed Kingfisher – Mar 22nd, 2020
  85. White-throated Kingfisher – Nov 18th, 2018
  86. Black-capped Kingfisher – Oct 6th, 2018
  87. Collared Kingfisher – Mar 8th, 2020
  88. Blue-tailed Bee-eater – Oct 6th, 2018
  89. Indochinese Roller – Apr 21st, 2019
  90. Coppersmith Barbet – Aug 18th, 2019
  91. Eurasian Wryneck – Mar 1st, 2020
  92. Eurasian Kestrel – Dec 5th, 2020
  93. Black-naped Oriole – Jan 16th, 2021
  94. Ashy Woodswallow – Mar 22nd, 2020
  95. Common Iora – Mar 1st, 2020
  96. Malaysian Pied-Fantail – Oct 6th, 2018
  97. Black Drongo – Oct 6th, 2018
  98. Brown Shrike – Oct 6th, 2018
  99. Long-tailed Shrike – Mar 8th, 2020
  100. Large-billed Crow – Jun 8th, 2019
  101. Common Tailorbird – Mar 21st, 2020
  102. Yellow-bellied Prinia – Nov 18th, 2018
  103. Plain Prinia – Oct 6th, 2018
  104. Zitting Cisticola – Apr 21st, 2019
  105. Thick-billed Warbler – Mar 1st, 2020
  106. Black-browed Reed Warbler – Nov 18th, 2018
  107. Oriental Reed Warbler – Oct 6th, 2018
  108. Striated Grassbird – Apr 11th, 2020
  109. Pallas’s Grasshopper Warbler – Dec 7th, 2019
  110. Lanceolated Warbler – May 4th, 2020
  111. Baikal Bush Warbler – Mar 1st, 2020
  112. Bank Swallow – Apr 21st, 2019
  113. Barn Swallow – Oct 6th, 2018
  114. Red-rumped Swallow – Apr 27th, 2019
  115. Red-whiskered Bulbul – Mar 29th, 2020
  116. Yellow-vented Bulbul – Oct 6th, 2018
  117. Streaked-eared Bulbul – Oct 6th, 2018
  118. Yellow-browed Warbler – Mar 8th, 2020
  119. Dusky Warbler – Nov 18th, 2018
  120. Asian Pied Starling – Oct 6th, 2018
  121. White-shouldered Starling – Nov 3rd, 2019
  122. Chestnut-tailed Starling – Apr 4th, 2020
  123. Common Myna – Oct 6th, 2018
  124. Great Myna – Oct 6th, 2018
  125. Oriental Magpie-Robin – Oct 6th, 2018
  126. Bluethroat – Mar 1st, 2020
  127. Siberian Rubythroat – Mar 1st, 2020
  128. Taiga Flycatcher – Mar 1st, 2020
  129. Siberian Stonechat – Nov 18th, 2018
  130. Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker – Dec 5th, 2020
  131. Brown-throated Sunbird – Mar 21, 2020
  132. Olive-backed Sunbird – Jun 8th, 2019
  133. Streaked Weaver – Apr 21st, 2019
  134. Baya Weaver – Oct 6th, 2018
  135. Asian Golden Weaver – Oct 6th, 2018
  136. Red Avadavat – Apr 27th, 2019
  137. White-rumped Munia – Oct 6th, 2018
  138. Scaly-breasted Munia – Oct 6th, 2018
  139. Chestnut Munia – Apr 21st, 2019
  140. House Sparrow – Oct 6th, 2018
  141. Plain-backed Sparrow – Mar 29th, 2020
  142. Eurasian Tree Sparrow – Apr 21st, 2019
  143. Eastern Yellow Wagtail – Nov 3rd, 2019
  144. White Wagtail – Jan 24th, 2021
  145. Richard’s Pipit – Jan 4th, 2021
  146. Paddyfield Pipit – Apr 21st, 2019
  147. Red-throated Pipit – Dec 7th, 2019
  148. Yellow-breasted Bunting – Nov 3rd, 2019

One thought on “Lat Krabang Paddies – Bangkok

  1. Pingback: Bang Pu – Samut Prakan – Thailand Birding Adventures

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