Forgetting my binoculars wasn’t a good start to the early morning birding session – a return visit to Victoria Park to look for thrushes, in particular male Pied Thrush. Brief views of our target in the half-light was sufficient to encourage me to stay whilst the rest of the group went off looking for something better. Eventually the bird appeared along ‘Schitt’s Creek’, affording reasonable record shots. Shortly after our guide came running up ‘Slaty-legged Crake…’! I didn’t wait for direction, just ran off in the general direction. Fortunately I located the group, who were watching the bird, a hundred metres or so up the path. We returned to the original spot for more views of the Pied Thrush and a second appearance from the Scaly Thrush. Job done. After breakfast we drove to our Oak Ray hotel base for three nights, in the wetland resort of Tissamaharama, for waterbirds and a ‘three owl’ experience – the subject of a separate blog.