The Peak of Migration Magic!

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.

Common Iora were abundant and I captured a good picture of one with a caterpillar. 21st April 2022.

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.

The wintering waders have basically all left, leaving only the resident breeding birds. Here’s a Black-winged Stilt on its nest. 21st April 2022.
Not long after, it got up to forage, revealing the eggs. 21st April 2022.

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!

A very nice sight to see! Green-backed Flycatcher. 21st April 2022.

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.

Indian Cuckoo in the mangroves. 21st April 2022.

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.

Indian Cuckoo with belly striping in frame. 21st April 2022.

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.

Male Japanese Paradise Flycatcher. 21st April 2022.

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.

Japanese Paradise Flycatcher in its full glory. 21st April 2022.
Rare passage migrant to central region of Thailand. 21st April 2022.

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!

All images © 2022 hamsambly

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