Monday, April 15, 2013

Siberian Thrush!

This morning had "rare" written all over it - rain started falling yesterday evening just before dark, and continued until well after midnight, with heavy cloud cover still at dawn.

The first birds I saw were both migrants - a drongo spp. and a Brown Shrike, so things looked promising.  Soon afterwards I could hear the thin, high-pitched calls of Eye-browed Thrushes and eventually managed to see at least four birds in the tops of several large trees, with others apparently calling unseen (I found it difficult to estimate numbers because it is hard to determine the direction of the calls and so the number of birds possibly involved). Whilst trying to get more views of the Eye-browed Thrushes I flushed another, all dark, bird in the lower branches of a large tree and on getting my binoculars on it was elated to see that it was an adult male Siberian Thrush - a rare bird in Thailand (Round, 2008 indicates only one previous record for the Central Plains) and as a migrant something that I have long-hoped to find on the patch but without any real expectation, given it's rarity.  Just as quickly as the bird had appeared it was gone, and the calls of the thrush flock soon petered out - these were birds on the move!

Whilst still birding in the same area I found a Hodgeson's Hawk-cuckoo (my third record in Bangkok and seemingly a rare migrant), and the Himalayan Cuckoo (first seen on the 12th) as well as two Thick-billed Warblers, a Pale-legged Leaf Warbler, three Asian Brown Flycatchers, two Ashy Drongos and several Ashy Minivets (the latter heard only).  Notable by their absence were any Taiga Flycatchers - perhaps they have gone north?