More Benjakitti

I just came back from a trip to Doi Inthanon with some fantastic birds, I posted a lot of the highlights to my twitter feed. I would’ve liked to write something about it but as time goes on the likelihood tends to get lower. More recently, I’ve been frequenting my favourite spot in the city, Benjakitti. The main challenge as of now is PM 2.5, with AQI scores ranking in the top 3 for most polluted cities in the world… It’s not very pleasant, but thankfully N95 tends to alleviate the symptoms I experience when exposed to the poor air.

Always nice to see the resident Spotted Owlets.

Yesterday, I wanted to see the recently photographed Ruddy-breasted Crake, another incredible bird to be seen the metropolis. I headed there in the mid-afternoon to avoid the heat, being closer to the time the Crake shows, too. When looking around, I was excited to stumble upon a pair of Pink-necked Green-Pigeons making a nest, the male was collecting twigs whilst the female was already incubating and arranging some of the nest. They aren’t frequently observed at the park here, so it was even better to see, and they will likely be spotted a lot more now.

Nest-building Pink-necked Green-Pigeon.

Around the same area I bumped into the Black-capped Kingfisher, probably the most desirable Kingfisher spending the winter here, listed by IUCN as now ‘Vulnerable’. I’ve been checking along the khlong because a week ago, Watercock had been spotted around here, again, an amazing bird for the city.

Black-capped Kingfisher

With early migrants coming through, it gives more reason to keep checking the park. A week ago I found Himalayan Cuckoo with a friend, the first reported individual for the park and a bird I missed in my first full year of birding last year.

Himalayan Cuckoo from previous visit, couldn’t get a good photo as it was constantly on the move and being mobbed by the Drongos and Crows.
Eurasian Kestrel, my first raptor species at Benjakitti from a couple weeks ago.
Skulkier than the Plain Prinia, Yellow-bellied Prinia is more often heard than seen, but once out, it’s a confiding bird.

Back to the main purpose of yesterday’s trip, at the time which it was seen yesterday, I waited, and like clockwork, the Ruddy-breasted Crake emerged from the reeds. It didn’t stick around in the open long enough for me to get a sharp photo, as it went onto the concrete slab, it made a flight to the vegetation bordering the path, making me unable to document it any further.

Brief encounter with Ruddy-breasted Crake.

Another excuse to revisit, to get better photos of this beautiful bird. Also, I should be on the look out for Black Baza, and other early migrants such as Blue and White Flycatcher and possible Gray-faced Buzzard. Recently I haven’t written posts as I’ve been recovering from my trip and also processing some trauma relating to some toxic individuals in the birding community. I’m glad it happened though, I need to learn to be wiser in who I interact with, and not to be open to everybody.

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