Copyright © 2017 by Ali Bernie Buga-ay, all rights reserved. Ultramarine Flycatcher: this photograph may not be used without permission.

Breeding in the foothills of Himalayas it winters in southern India as mentioned by some accounts; but it is also wintering in Thailand and it likes Doi San Ju, in Chiang Mai as the habitat is perfect for it to thrive.

After finding the Spot-breasted Parrotbill and some other special flying goodies, we decided to go back to the hotel for the return trip to Bangkok. Driving back home is twelve hours from Fang, Chiang Mai, we had to be conscious of our time since we had to meet an appointment at 5:00 a.m. the following day in Kanchanaburi whic is three hours and a half from Bankok. As we were on the way down the mountain, I was in and out of sleep as I heard voices shouting my name. My sleepiness was shaken and as I looked out of the truck, I saw a group of people with tripods and cameras pointed at a stakeout setup. We stopped, I tried to figure out who knows me on Doi San Ju, a man approached our truck with a mask on, he pulled it off his face and it was our dear friend Prin Pattawaro with his buddy Khun Ouo. We were running out of time but we decided to join them, they were having a great time taking photographs of the Ultramarine Flycatcher.

I was quite surprised that they were just standing in front of the setup without hides. There were like eight people plus us, it was crowded. The Ultramarine Flycatcher came even without the hide and the reason why they did that was; the previous day, the people that came before used hides and by doing that, other birds came and frightened the flycatcher. Standing there exposed, in return, scared the unwanted birds away and gave the Ultramarine Flycatcher the chance to come. One cannot miss it when it comes, it come with a series of shrilling chirps, a warning that you get your camera ready for it will not stay that long, the interval of the next return takes fifteen to twenty minutes and sometimes longer.

We stayed for almost an hour, sacrificing some time just for this beauty, as the rest of the party left for the White-bellied Redstart. It was time to go, I was keeping my tripod, then the bird came again, I found myself scampering for the settings and all; we really had to go, I had to turn my back on the bird with a sad retreat to the truck. Well, some joys of birding is waiting for it to come back next year.

Doi San Ju, Chiang Mai, Thailand
February 12, 2017
Nikon D500 + Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR

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