Surprise on Another Rainy Day

Today, I decided to visit a park I hadn’t gone to for possibly 2+ years. Chatuchak Park is basically ignored by birders because its neighbours, Sirikit and Rotfai Park, have an undoubtedly greater species diversity. I wasn’t expecting much at all, it was another rainy day. No sun, just flat out rain for my whole visit here.

Initially I was going to quickly walk through Chatuchak Park before hitting the main attraction of Rotfai Park but it didn’t go as planned today. I couldn’t even find the correct entrance due to the inconvenient closures of entrance points, eventually I did find one. In short, I was very satisfied with my visit at Chatuchak, the rain didn’t let up and I decided to call it early. And this park is right next to the skytrain and MRT stations, so it was an easy choice.

Asian Pied Starling foraging around the playground. 27th January 2022.

When I finally got in to the park, it was as you’d expect. Plenty of Great Mynas on the grass, alongside Black-collared Starlings and a few Common Mynas. Despite the rain, I could still hear a couple of Olive-backed Sunbirds high up in a canopy. I can still enjoy the common bird life, I was watching two Eurasian Tree Sparrows interacting with each other. I felt lucky to see a Yellow-browed Warbler given the rainy conditions. I was walking along the path when something caught my eye in a tree by the large pond.

Spotted Owlet, in Chatuchak Park! 27th January 2022.

At this point, I didn’t even have my camera out of my bag. I noticed the Spotted Owlet low in the tree staring at me, I felt sorry for it since it was soaked by the rain. I backed out slowly, taking out my camera, and then I re-located it as it moved much higher into the tree. I was stunned. I have a hard enough time seeing them in Rotfai Park, and to see one on my first real birding visit to Chatuchak Park. Definitely something special.

A wet Spotted Owlet. 27th January 2022.

After that sighting, I was very pleased with the birding session, despite being soaked from the rain. The visit continued on an upward trajectory with sightings of Black-naped Oriole and Ashy Drongo, nothing spectacular but I was very happy since the conditions and the reputation of chatuchak. The rain also added a very cinematic atmosphere to the shots.

Black-naped Oriole in the rain. 27th January 2022.
Brief sighting of Ashy Drongo in the rain. 27th January 2022.

From here on out I was thinking about making an exit. I wanted to tick off a few more common species and, like magic, when I thought of the species they’d appear right before my eyes. Well, not quite but pretty close to this. It happened with Asian Pied Starling, Asian Brown Flycatcher and a trio of House Sparrows. In the end, an amazing 90 minutes at Chatuchak Park.

All images © 2021 – 2022 hamsambly

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