Bountiful October Ending

The last three days of October have been very eventful in terms of birds in parks in and around Bangkok. It all started a couple days back, heading to the park hoping to see the sighted White-throated Rock-Thrush. Knowing the location, I found a small group of people, waited about 30-40 minutes and it eventually showed. A spectacularly patterned bird, especially the male which we were lucky enough to witness.

Stunning male White-throated Rock-Thrush. 29th Oct.

It wasn’t long before it was hiding back in the canopy somewhere, so I decided to walk the park before leaving. I thought I also found my first Claudia’s Leaf Warbler, it was about the size of an Eastern Crowned, without a yellow-vent and was busy flicking its wings as it foraged on the tree. I couldn’t get any good photo so I’m not fully certain on this.

Claudia’s Leaf Warbler? 29th Oct.

The following day, on the opposite end of the park, I was searching for the Orange-headed Thrush that was apparently seen the day before. Usual with a twitch-worthy bird on a weekend, the bird’s presence was signalled by a sizeable crowd of people. It took a while for it to show for more than a few seconds but the wait was worth it. The magic is slightly dampened by the large crowd. People very concerned about disturbance to the bird with the slightest rustling of leaves but they were more than happy to throw rocks and shout at the Northern Tree Shrew coming for some mealworms.

Beautiful Orange-headed Thrush, a bird I wanted to see for a long time coming. 30th Oct.

Adding to the magic was a second passage migrant alongside the male Orange-headed Thrush. It was a female Siberian Blue Robin, which was quite bold after it decided to leave the confines of the thick shrubbery. To come to see one migrant and get another that you haven’t yet observed at the park made it an amazing day.

While this was all happening, some interesting birds were reported by Krit at my current favourite spot for birding – Phutthamonthon. The following day I decided to go and see what I could find. I very thankfully bumped into one of the friendly top patch birders. They were on the path with 2 others observing a Grey Nightjar! He was very helpful and let me know the area to look for the rarity: Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo.

Grey Nightjar resting at perch at Phutthamonthon! 31st Oct.

I sped off to the overgrown flooded bamboo grove. It took a little while to locate it but eventually the Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo was showing well. A lifer in the form of a Chestnut-winged Cuckoo was also present but showing poorly, so I didn’t manage a photo. There was also an Orange-headed Thrush in the area but I didn’t manage to find it, I wasn’t too bothered after seeing it well yesterday.

Rarity of the day: the very smart Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo, minus the rackets. 31st Oct.

Overall, an amazing trio of birding days to end the month of October at both Sirikit and Phutthamonthon Parks. Hopefully the exciting birds keep coming, stay tuned.

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