Malayan Night-Heron… At Last. Featuring Other Rarities of Spring.

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.

Ruddy Kingfisher which showed very nicely at Rot Fai Park; not long after the Fairy Pitta ‘disappeared’. I might make a separate post of this bird. 13th May 2022.

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.

Indian Pond Heron has vagrant status in Thailand, but many are are detected when in breeding plumage. 1st May 2022.

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.

Confused at first (due to plumage) but this is a late-to-migrate Red-rumped Swallow which gave it rare bird status. 1st May 2022.

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.

First photos of the Malayan Night-Heron.

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 in a dark spot but standing in a spot where the sun penetrated the canopy.
Malaysian Night Heron, at last. A nice discovery at Phutthamonthon Park.

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.

Common Five-Ring (Ypthima baldus)
Oriental Straight Swift (Parnara bada)
Common Grass-Dart (Taractrocera maevius)
It’s been a long time since I photographed a Lime Swallowtail (Papilio demoleus). Most of the time I see them fluttering by in the city but not feeding.

All images and video © 2022 hamsambly

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