The past few weeks have been unbelievably hot, birding in the midday has almost become an impossibility. I planned for early morning birding today to beat the heat but it didn’t go as planned. I ended up making my way to Chula’s campus in the late morning. Having doubts due to the heat I was considering not going but upon arrival I was relieved since majority of the campus is completely shaded by the canopy of large trees.
When I arrived, there was plenty of bird activity and the plants were being watered by a large truck mounted with water cannon. Not long into the walk I came across Flat-tailed House Gecko alongside a snake, which quickly escaped before I could have a good look. I have been waiting to see a Long-nose Whip Snake for a while…
Being Songkran, the campus was quieter than normal, making it more enjoyable. During this time of year, passage migrants are the main excitements, especially with birdwatching in the city. Adding to this, most birds breeding at this time, so it’s also a good time to see fledglings, young birds and the whole nesting process as a whole.
Reaching the good spot for migrant flycatchers, I looked around and couldn’t see much. A few Ashy Drongos were around but no passage migrants. Looping around for a final check I saw another Drongo, this one was black. At this moment I knew it had to be a Crow-billed Drongo. Upon closer inspection, it checked out as Crow-billed.
Very happy as this was actually the first time I have seen Crow-billed Drongo. I came close a few days ago at Phutthamonton but didn’t get one then. This individual was quite skittish, sticking to the upper canopy and taking flight quickly. It was hard to get a photograph showing the distinctive Crow-bill.
From this sighting, I decided to stay on. I walked over to Centenary Park, despite the heat. There were lots of insects about, many Lemon Pansy butterflies. A pair of Plain Prinia were at the entrance and in the park I heard the sound of Yellow-bellied Prinia.
Returning to the Drongo spot, I found it again. I took another picture before making the return walk to the exit. It wasn’t going to provide easy photo opportunities. I kept an eye out for other migrants such as Yellow-rumped Flycatcher but there was nothing to be had. In terms of Flycatchers I only saw a couple of Asian Browns.
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