White’s Thrush, Quest Complete

Over a year in the making, and countless hours wrapped up today in a cold December morning at Phutthamonthon Park. Something happened to the White’s Thrush because the last 3 days it has been consistently observed. As opposed to how hard it was to see, let alone photograph, for the last few weeks and last winter. It was refreshing to finally see the mysterious bird, and not just a glimpse, long views of it foraging in the bamboo area. This bird had evaded me the longest out of any I’ve wanted to see.

Finally seeing White’s Thrush.

There were a few other nice sightings but the amazing cherry on top was locating an Indian Thick-knee just before leaving the park. I thought I’d check through my binoculars at the bird, probably just a Red-wattled Lapwing I thought, but it ended up being the bird I was really wanting to see – it was reported a few days ago and I got lucky to find it. I called my friends I met but when they arrived, 2 people walked past and the bird flushed. It’s Sunday, so there were many people around.

Second lifer at Phutthamonthon today. Indian Thick-knee.

After having an incredible morning – midday at Phutthamonthon, I was informed from a friend that there’s a Slaty-legged Crake at Sirikit Park. I went later in the afternoon, I didn’t find the bird which would have made 5 rare bird alert observations in one day, but 4 is a new record for me anyway. It was also an amazing afternoon, as the Malayan Night-Heron turned into a pet bird. I pointed it out to some people entering the Blue-winged Pitta stakeout. It was literally 1 metre away, they were speechless, it was so entertaining. All the birders had it as company, as it foraged around our feet. It was absolutely comical, although I hope the bird stays safe. You could film it filling the frame with your mobile phone.

The incredibly friendly, Malayan Night-Heron.

Overall, an unexpectedly great day with 2 lifers, I will keep monitoring the Slaty-legged Crake if it turns up again. Although I’ve seen it before at Kaeng Krachan National Park earlier this year.

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All images and video © 2022 Sam Hambly.

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