Elusive Passage Migrant at Phutthamonthon

It was just over a week ago when a rare passage migrant, White’s Thrush, was sighted in Phutthamonthon Park. It was seen on two mornings, I tried to find it on the second of those mornings from 11am and tried again at 7am the following day. Both attempts were unsuccessful.

Many people exercise in Phutthamonthon early on the weekends, so White’s Thrush may have not come out of hiding (The second day I went to find it, it was Saturday morning). I heard that Zoothera thrushes are unpredictable and shy. And I have been learning this first hand.

To my surprise, yesterday, it was sighted by Nick Upton. Most people would have believed it was long gone after last week’s brief glimpses. The weather was great at midday: light drizzle, cool breeze and no hot sun. I will cut to the chase, I did not see it over the time I was there.

It was an okay day still with the birds I did find, which included Large Hawk-cuckoo, Chinese Blue Flycatcher and the currently present group of Oriental Scops-owls.

Large Hawk Cuckoo, second encounter in my life and first decent photos.
21st January 2022.
Vocalising Chinese Blue Flycatcher. 21st January 2022.
Oriental Scops-owl, they tend to form communal roosts in their wintering grounds. 21st January 2022.

It was a quiet day without the White’s Thrush but I shouldn’t have spoken too soon. As when I was leaving the park, just before the sun fully set, I was greeted with sightings of three birds of prey. First was a Peregrine Falcon, then Japanese Sparrowhawk and finally Oriental Honey-buzzard.

Peregrine Falcon in flight. 21st January 2022.
Very tricky with immature Accipiters. Likely a Japanese Sparrowhawk.
21st January 2022.
First encounter with Oriental Honey-buzzard. I wouldn’t have gotten the identification without David Gandy’s assistance. 21st January 2022.

So it was far from a bad day of birding. Phuttamonthon always has great potential. I tend to upload all my photos from these visits to ebird, so if you’re interested in yesterday’s you can contact me for the details.

All images © 2021 – 2022 hamsambly

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