Monday, December 10, 2012

Zootheras on the patch!

Whilst on the patch yesterday morning I caught a glimpse of a passerine that flushed in front of me but gave me such poor views I had no idea what it might have been.  Despite searching for it for about twenty minutes I found no further sign of it and as such tried to convince myself that perhaps it was simply a badly seen Oriental Magpie Robin (!), though the mystery bird had crossed my mind momentarily as possibly being a thrush of some kind.

When I started working the patch again this morning I almost didn't bother checking the area where I had seen this "mystery bird", but remembering yesterday's incident, and with a nagging doubt that it really wasn't a Magpie Robin I decided to have a quick look.  Checking the precise location of yesterday's sighting I found nothing, but  some dense canopy nearby yielded a Taiga Flycatcher and so I decided to give this area a few minutes attention and was about to move on when what was obviously yesterday's bird (based on size and jizz) flew out of the canopy and back to the area where I had seen.  I didn't get much on it but I felt I knew what it was, and when it perched up (rather distantly) I could see that it had an orange head!

I walked straight back to the original location and sat quietly, waiting to see if it would show, and a few minutes later it appeared in front of me,  about 4 metres away...

Orange-headed Ground Thrush

This is the first time that I have seen Orange-headed Ground Thrush on the patch, though I was aware that it had been recorded in the past. This species breeds in Thailand, but is also a winter visitor.  My experience of the species in the past has all been in good quality forest in various parts of SE Asia so it is really nice to find such a forest denizen in the middle of Bangkok's magatropolis!

Walking around the Ornamental Gardens at the patch didn't reveal too many other surprises, though I did finally come across my first Thick-billed Warbler of winter 2012/13.  However on my way out I found a SECOND Orange-headed Ground Thrush  - this one a stonking male...

OHGT number 2 - not a great photo but WHAT A BIRD!

So my prediction yesterday of Zoothera action in the park had been correct, though the location was entirely wrong and I couldn't have predicted two seperate sightings on the same day!


Sacha Barbato said...

Gripping Thrush! And one I have missed in the past .. Nice one

Phil Benstead said...