Undoubtedly my most unsuccessfully twitched species followed by White’s Thrush is the Malayan Night-Heron. Take that with a pinch of salt because I haven’t birded a full calendar year yet; only seriously since the latter third of last year. Anyhow, I tried to locate one reported in Phutthamonthon during winter migration. Since then, probably 3-4 more times during this spring migration.
A couple more times at Phutthamonthon and once, very recently, at the PR Department. The failed attempt at PR, I sighted a seemingly random Slaty or Red-legged Crake which flew past at head-height and disappeared. This would have topped seeing a Malayan Night Heron if it lasted more than a couple of seconds, I couldn’t even get an ID.
More recently, at the start of May, I had a glimpse of an adult Malayan for about 2 seconds as it flew in the canopy at Rot Fai Park. It was turning out to be a very hard passage migrant to encounter, despite it appearing fairly regularly. Often times it’s very shy and secretive.
Today, I went to Phutthamonthon. Seeking no rarities, thinking more about butterflies after venturing to the outskirt road for a few missing species which I found 3. The Malayan Night-Heron was last reported in the middle of April, so it wasn’t on my mind at all. Walking through the park, I noticed a ‘crouching’ postured heron in a watery shaded area. It was a Malayan Night-Heron, it was a very happy moment.
After a few minutes of observing I walked around the park, making a loop and returning the area it was. I relocated it and took more pictures. You can see little blotches of cinnamon on the body which is the adult plumage starting to come through.
It was a very hot day but in the latter portions there was a large storm in the distance which provided some cool winds. I was very happy to finally get great views of Malayan Night-Heron. I stopped for some butterflies on the way out and found three new species, for me.
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