My thanks to Dave Sargent for telling me to get down to Kaeng Krachan for a Schrenck’s Bittern. It was a cinch in the finest tradition of drive-in birding. Thanks also to Tom Backlund for getting me up the hill. We get out of the truck, headed to small pool and Tom said: “There it is” and sure enough there it was. This is a bird Phil Round is hoping to catch on migration at Koh Man Nai but so far it hasn’t obliged. A beauty and a real Thai rarity in recent years. Like many bitterns it very helpfully perches motionless for extended periods of time as it eyes its prey. This allows for photographs in otherwise difficult light conditions. I was shooting on a two second delay with a shutter speed of 1/5 of a second. Anyhow I got a shot and can’t ask for more.
For good measure a pair of stunning Long-tailed Broadbills were servicing a nest overhanging the pond so it really was a brilliant twitch – two lifers in one fell swoop. Nearby a Mountain Imperial Pigeon was fluttering about – a really large ungainly bird. We progressed to the top at Panoen Thung Camp and I was really shocked by the crowds milling around waiting to descend. Hundreds of people – I have never seen the park so busy. We saw an Ashy and Flavescent Bulbul but little else. We headed down the mountain and in view of the crowds along the streams we simply left though the calls of Green Magpie and Silver-breasted Broadbills were clearly audible.