Collared Scops-Owls at Phutthamonthon

Searching for rarities at Phutthamonthon can be likened to finding a needle in 10 haystacks, whilst they were on my radar, I decided to not distraught over them. Having failed many times to find the Malayan Night Heron I didn’t have any hope anyway. The Indian Pond Heron was another possibility but today wasn’t the day.

A very friendly Dark-necked Tailorbird was one of the highlights! 24th April 2022.

Upon arrival I was quick to come across 3 juvenile Collared Scops-Owls. It was amazing to get such great views and seeing them make a short flight to the adjacent bamboo. This year I had encounter some at Rotfai Park but it had been a year or more for seeing the juveniles clearly. I guess the juveniles are typically easier to see, as they learn the ropes of being a nocturnal Owl.

Juvenile Collared Scops-Owl. 24th April 2022.

Seeing the Spotted Owlets practically every visit, Asian Barred Owlet frequently and Oriental Scops-Owls regularly in the wintering months. This was my first time seeing Collared Scops-Owls at Phutthamonthon. They are a widespread species, but being camouflaged and nocturnal, encounters will always be special.

This one was hiding and taking peeks around the side. 24th April 2022.
As shown here! 24th April 2022.
One of the others exposed on the branch. 24th April 2022.

After getting a short video clip I left them, very happy with the sighting. It was raining in Bangkok, over here in Nakhon Pathom there was a cool breeze blowing with the occasional large cloud blocking the sun. Next I came across one of my favourite species, they had chicks with them.

One of the White-breasted Waterhens that had chicks. 24th April 2022.

When I arrived in the vicinity, the chicks fled with the adults to cover. I sat quietly waiting for them to feel safe again. I was then allowed the wonderful views of their family walking across the floating vegetation.

Chicks with parents on floating vegetation. 24th April 2022.

This has been the start of my first year birding, so the spring migration, nesting and chicks have been very exciting. Having only seen the White-breasted Waterhen chicks earlier this month.

Continuing, I found a large roost of Black-crowned Night-Herons. One was flying with nesting material and upon closer inspection they were nesting. There was also a Little Egret occupying a nest alongside the Night-Herons.

I have a few pictures but they were too far away for anything decent.
24th April 2022.
Black-crowned Night-Heron found deeper into the park. 24th April 2022.

I wasn’t going to venture deeper into the park but the weather was initially inviting. Although it turned into another sweltering 37c torture fest synonymous with heat stroke. Early on in the long trek (The park used to be a car-birding experience but since covid they somehow twisted that into an excuse to stop cars entering) I saw a juvenile Purple Heron – which is an uncommon species at the park.

Purple Heron lurking. 24th April 2022.
A Grey Heron from earlier. 24th April 2022.

There wasn’t much out of the ordinary but the day was already made by the Collared Scops-Owl sighting. For the most part, it was your regular trip to this park – filled with noisy Red-wattled Lapwings and background of barking dogs (And 5km+ of walking).

Red-wattled Lapwing, doing a broken leg display instead of the broken wing display? 24th April 2022.

All images and videos © 2022 hamsambly

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