Today, in a last minute decision, I decided to take a trip back to Bang Pu. This was partly due to the fact a Japanese Paradise Flycatcher has been reported the past few days. It’s a rare passage migrant, and definitely up there with some of the most beautiful birds in existence.
Upon arrival, it was as you’d expect. Although I actually didn’t anticipate this many people. It was the biggest twitching crowd I’ve witnessed so far – albeit in my short time (just under a year) birding. I didn’t count but easily 50 people on this typical weekday. It didn’t seem like it was present as they were all sitting around. I decided to venture into the mangroves.
in the first 5 minutes of walking I saw a flycatcher flitting in the distance, I got my camera on it and it turned out to be another ‘rare’ passage migrant. Green-backed Flycatcher!
Alongside the Green-backed Flycatcher I found a Cuckoo. At first I wasn’t sure which species since it’s back was facing me but I figured it out as my first Indian Cuckoo. During this point an Accipiter flew beneath the mangrove canopy but I missed any chance at identification.
The Cuckoo was confiding and I walked around to get a glimpse of the striping on the belly – something I haven’t seen in person. I took a picture and then left it be.
It was another couple of hours until I got any view of the main attraction. There was apparently a flock of 3 Japanese Paradise Flycatchers stopping over in Bang Pu. One of which was a male. Cutting to the chase, by 4pm there was a male foraging in mangrove. This was lucky too, since the male Japanese is absolutely the most stunning Paradise Flycatcher that graces Thailand.
When I saw it, I got a few pictures immediately and then went to tell some others who were waiting elsewhere. As they all scrambled to get the photos I enjoyed the bird through my binoculars. Seeing the long tail whip around in flight was breathtaking.
Between this and the Black-backed Dwarf-Kingfisher of two weeks ago… No, I can’t rank them like that. They are both incredible migrants to witness. Although the Japanese Paradise Flycatcher is arguable a much rarer bird to experience, and given that getting a male is not guaranteed, today was definitely very special!
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