The past month has been very harsh in Bangkok. Extremely hot temperatures and also a high amount of air pollution. Yesterday, and the day before, thankfully, a storm blew in, giving us some great weather. And great birds! One of my favourite places to check for birds, Public Relations Department, had been having a quiet spell coinciding with the terrible conditions which ended a couple days back.
2 days ago, I rushed back from Nakhon Ratchasima to the Department of Public Relations as David Gandy had just seen a few great birds, including a Tiger Shrike. When i got there 5 hours after the sighting, a storm was brewing, and the birds weren’t present. I guess they sensed the storm and took off earlier in the morning to continue their migration. In the afternoon I went to Benjakitti and a huge storm passed through and luckily it didn’t pass directly over the park. My favourite sighting was a Greater Coucal feeding its baby a Golden Tree Snake.
The following day I returned to the DPR early, it also had rained last night and during the day before. I managed to see the Hooded Pitta which is in an adjacent walled garden. The Fairy Pitta call did the trick but as we found yesterday, its a clever bird, so it only checks once before disappearing!
I also had my first Dark-sided Flycatcher of the year which joined the Yellow-rumped Flycatcher, Mugimaki Flycatcher and Hooded Pitta for the morning’s haul.
After DPR I went to my favourite spot in Nonthaburi, but after a few minutes the storm came in and I went back home. The weather was refreshing, the cool winds and overcast skies were much welcomed. My friend was at Phutthamonthon and he had found a Brown-chested Jungle Flycatcher and a Tiger Shrike, so I made plans to go straight there after arriving home!
Upon arrival at Phutthamonthon it didn’t take long to find the Brown-chested Jungle Flycatcher, a lifer for me. My friend came back to help me search for Tiger Shrike and after walking across the road, I found another BCJFC! It was really amazing! Unfortunately the second one quickly disappeared and we couldn’t relocate it, but we both saw it.
After an hour of searching we finally found the Tiger Shrike again, I only got a brief glimpse at it sitting obscured in the canopy. I stuck around for another 2 and a half hours and managed one more glimpse but no photo! Still a great day, beautiful weather and quiet time at one of my favourite places.
I wasn’t going to bother with the Japanese Paradise-Flycatcher which has already been at the National Science Museum in Pathum Thani for 2 weeks. But, recently, I had gotten a few messages about it and made me consider going, before it leaves. It was weird that the photographers got onto it so late, as I previously stated, it had been there a while already! This morning I made a quick trip to see it. As you can imagine, there are 60+ people sitting around the site, luckily I found a nice patch of ground by a tree to sit and managed a few nice photos before heading off.
Japanese Paradise-Flycatcher has to be one of the most stunning creatures in existence and its always no surprise that it is always brings in large crowds of photographers. Here, it’s a rare passage migrant, making it even more special to catch a glimpse. In the end I’m glad I went to see it. Last year I saw the one in Bang Pu which was also a similar ordeal but the garden at the NSM was much more pleasant.
All images and video © 2023 Sam Hambly.
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One thought on “Arrival of Rain!”
Great pics and birds! The paradise flycatcher is spectacular, have only ever seen the female.
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