Monday, January 13, 2014

Patch gold

Today saw my first visit of the year to Suan Rot Fai, and was a good reminder of why I love this place so much.

Highlight number 1 came in the form of my second patch record of Collared Scops Owl - a bird being mobbed by a flock of passerines (including Thick-billed Warbler and Asian Brown Flycatcher).

Collared Scops Owl

Whist I was watching this bird a local Thai birder came up to ask me what I was watching and also informed me that a Northern Boobook had been seen in The Ramble over the weekend.  I eventually made my way over to look for it (I found one in the same area in 2010) though the birder I met earlier had failed to locate it.  He and I continued to search for it, and eventually he relocated it - in the same tree where my 2010 bird was roosting! Northern Boobook is a rare bird in Thailand (less than 20 records) which is probably overlooked; the recently described diagnostic field mark is the tear-drop shaped streaking on the underparts, which is heart-shaped in much more common Brown Boobook.

Northern Boobook

Given that the Boobook wasn't even a patch tick, I took my time to make my way over to where it had been seen, electing to check out the small bushes which had held Rubythroat, PG Tips and Orange -headed Thrush in early December.  On entering these bushes I quickly located two Siberian Rubythroats (a female and a first winter male), and a distant warbler which I assumed was an adult PG Tips, however it was acting in a very un-locustella-like manner (ie not scrurrying along on the ground, but rather it was feeding mostly about 2-3 metres off the ground, and was regularly giving a "tick" call). It eventually gave good views and I realised that it was in fact an Acro - a Black-browed Reed Warbler, which is a patch tick!

So the year on the patch starts with a National rarity, and first and second records for my patch list!  The only downer was that the reason I had time to go birding this morning is because of yet more political protests bringing Bangkok to a standstill - my office is closed until at least Friday, and whilst birding this morning there was the constant drone of vitriolic speeches being given at one of the protest sites not far from the park.

Black-browed Reed Warbler

Siberian Rubythroat

1 comment:

Lee Dingain said...

A double owl day is always a good day in my book! I must visit your patch one day!