On the next morning, we visited Nam Kham Nature Reserve once again but a little earlier than the first visit because I wanted to photograph the Brown-cheeked Rails before the light gets too strong. The bird was already there when I entered the hide and the mission was accomplished without much effort.
According to Tavares, Kroon & Baker (2010), the race ‘indicus’ which was formerly considered as a subspecies of Water Rail (Rallus aquaticus) has been split into a monotypic species Rallus indicus, commonly called either Brown-cheeked Rail or Eastern Water Rail according to the characteristics of having brown cheek patch and distribution range from East Siberia to South-East Asia.
I was done with the rails just within about half an hour. Other birds seen from the hide on that morning included a male Common Kingfisher which posed as a nice foreground for the rail. A Black-browed Reed Warbler, the same Pallas’s Grasshopper Warbler and the same Siberian Rubythroat also showed up briefly as well as a flock of about 10 Greater Painted-Snipes of which 2 of them were females.
I got out of the hide and decided to take a walk in the reed bed. While walking towards the main shelter in the middle of the reserve, I heard a familiar song which was very similar to the song which I used to hear very often when I was in Japan. I knew right then what it was, the rare Manchurian Bush Warbler. Even though the song was not exactly the same as the Japanese Bush Warbler, it sounded very similar. I followed the song and could finally catch a glimpse of the male bird singing through the bush. It was surprisingly large, much larger than the Japanese Bush Warbler.
I spent the last hour at Nam Kham in a different hide on the other edge of the pond. There was a different male Siberian Rubythroat constantly showing up around the water edge. Another Pallas’s Grasshopper Warbler was also seen but was too fast for a photo. Around 11am, I left the area and had a nice lunch by the Mekong River in Chiang Saen then take a ride back to Chiang Mai.