Last week we had a great news from Doi Inthanon when a family of Brown-breasted Flycatcher was spotted in a garden at Siribhum Waterfall. This is an extremely rare and mysterious flycatcher in Thailand. There have been only few records in northern Thailand and one confirmed record from the south. The status of this bird is also uncertain. It is thought to be most likely a breeding visitor, but who knows. Yesterday, I managed to get myself to go and twitch this rare bird and it was surprisingly successful!
We arrived at the waterfall around 7 AM. It was still really dark due to the overcast weather. I walked around in the park and came across a big bird-wave consisted of Asian Paradise Flycatchers, Grey-headed Canary Flycatchers, Golden Babblers, Velvet-fronted Nuthatches, Yunnan Fulvettas, Blyth’s Shrike-babblers, Speckled Piculet, Grey-chinned Minivets and many small birds which I couldn’t have a good look at. The wave moved down across the park to the area where another friend of mine who joined the twitching was staying. After a while, my friend called me and told me he think he saw the flycatcher. I quickly walked to where he was standing and as the bird-wave arrived, I spotted it, the juvenile Brown-breasted Flycatcher, perching on an open twig up in the upper storey.
The bird continued to move along with the wave around the park. It was extremely difficult to photograph since it never stayed on the same perch for longer than a few seconds. It was totally different from what I imagined it would behave like. I thought it would be more like any other Muscicapa flycatchers which normally stay still on the same perch for a longer period of time. Finally it disappeared with wave into the forest and never came back.
As we decided to walk back to the car park, I spotted a family group of Blyth’s Shrike-babblers and decided to try to photograph them. As I was following the shrike-babblers, I spotted another juvenile Brown-breasted Flycatcher staying up in the canopy. It has a slightly different pattern on the back and wing coverts from another juvenile bird we saw earlier. We were hoping to find an adult bird which was photographed earlier but failed to locate any other bird.
Before leaving the park, a large bird showed up in the area where we were looking for the flycatchers. It was a male Green Cochoa with a mouthful of food. I could snap a few shots before it continued into the forest. After waiting for about 15 minutes, it didn’t come back so we decided to move on as it began to drizzle.
All in all, it was a great start of the day as I haven’t been out twitching for quite some time and the Brown-breasted Flycatcher is one of the birds that I really want to see. We then moved to the summit where birds were extremely good and the weather was surprisingly nice. Photos and notes about birds from the summit will follow shortly.