Slaty-legged Twitch, and the Day Before

After an action packed day of birding at Kaeng Krachan, today somehow was just as interesting in Bangkok. And that’s no means to say yesterday was bad. We saw the locally rare White-crowned Hornbill, White-fronted Scops-Owls, Rusty-cheeked Hornbill nesting and a large flock of Ratchet-tailed Treepie to name a few sightings. I’ll add some photos and video below as I don’t think I’ll make a separate post for it.

Orange-breasted Trogon were numerous with many good views, even two males fighting in-front of a female.
Female Banded Kingfisher, video below:
The hard to find White-fronted Scops-Owl (vulnerable).
Male Rusty-cheeked Hornbill attending to the nest. Hornbills seal a tree cavity where the chick and female stay inside.
One of the many Ratchet-tailed Treepies. I’m lucky enough to say I’ve been 10 on 2 visits.

That was the brief summary of yesterday but it was a really great day in the mountains. Today I was thinking of where to go and I remembered seeing the reports of Slaty-legged Crake at Chula. I was off to check it out after getting the precise location from a friend. I was planning to pair the twitch with an afternoon at Benjakitti forest park. I have seen Slaty-legged Crake at Kaeng Krachan before but its a very nice bird for the Bangkok list.

Juvenile Slaty-legged Crake at Chula, 1st Feb 23.

It was great observing it foraging around the tiny garden, observing it for about 25 minutes before heading back to where I parked. I never saw the juveniles before, it was very beautiful, the rufous eyebrows were coming through! Next to my bike, there was a large pond with lotus where I observed a Common Kingfisher fishing before leaving.

Female Common Kingfisher.

I arrived at Benjakitti when the day was cooling down at 3pm and wasn’t prepared for the sighting I would get. I found the ‘good’ area which had enough reeds and thankfully, basically no people. I flushed a Yellow Bittern AND a lifer, a Black Bittern, a bird which ducked me for 365 days of last year. I was extremely happy I sat on the dirt path covered in ants. This time of year, it would be considered unseasonal so it was an even better sighting. Although I didn’t hear any Reed-warblers, my main target, I was beyond happy with the Black Bittern.

Black Bittern, lifer seen on 1st February 23. It flushed alongside the Yellow Bittern but landed 10m to the back allowing photos.

I have more forest birding planned, and possibly visiting the north later this month…

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