And the bush has friends to meet him, and their kindly voices greet him, In the murmur of the breezes and the river on its bars,
And he sees the vision splendid of the sunlit plains extended, And at night the wonderous glory of the everlasting stars.

Banjo Paterson (1889)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Thailand Birding - Kaeng Krachan to Krung Ching

We are now inside Kaeng Krachan, one of the best birding areas in Thailand, a mecca for any visiting birders.

Not everything is what it seems. Just a bunch of dried old vines and leaves caught in a tree?

No, it's a Silver-breasted Broadbill's nest.

This nest was fairly high up, so mum's not too worried. Some other broadbill nests weren't in such good locations, one built low over a well used track and constantly being swung around as cars went by!

The forest had huge groups of wonderful butterflies drinking salts on the edges of most creeks.

Mind-blowing arrays!

Most forming groups of their own species.

This rainforest creek had a fantastic surprise waiting....

One of the rarest rainforest birds, 2 White-fronted Scops Owls. We were very lucky again.

And also one of the commonest rainforest birds, Black-naped Monarch at it's nest (with nestlings).

The area had wonderful birds we had been hoping to see and finally did, such as Kalij Pheasant, Blue Pitta, Crested Goshawk, Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher, Streak-breasted, Bamboo and Heart-spotted Woodpecker, Great and Tickell's (Brown) Hornbill, Racquet-tailed and Ratchet-tailed Treepie.

Another surprise waited for us on the way back to our accommodation one afternoon, a Leopard!
Liz had been snoozing in the back of the van as we travelled back, waking and hearing our commotion in the front, thought it must be some new bird and promptly stuck out half her body out the window to have a look. She quickly realised that she was staring eye to eye with a Leopard only 4 metres from the van! She was a little white and in shock for rest of the journey back.

The pleasant ' for birders' accommodation near Kaeng Krachan, Ban Maka Resort, about 30 minutes from the park.

Good, clean air-conditioned rooms.

Nice gardens for some local birding.

Next morning and it's time to head to the rice fields at Petchaburi.

There's a light rain falling, but the Asian Golden Weavers are busily going about their business at the rice fields.

Interesting looking nests, but not many birds to be seen....

When birds do arrive, they quickly shoot up the long semi-transparent tube into the nest chamber. How do they do that, using wings, legs or both?

Finally a view of one of the nest builders, Baya Weaver.

The rice fields had large numbers of Spot-billed Pelicans, Painted Storks, Black-headed Ibis and being near the coast the usual Collared Kingfishers.

A small dry woodland area nearby, produced this nice Rufous Woodpecker.

Another beautiful woodpecker in the area, this time a Black-headed Woodpecker at it's nest hole.

A visit to Huay Mai Teng Reservoir produced great views of Pied Kingfisher, Small Pratincoles, Oriental Pratincoles and fleeting views of Rain Quail.

This lovely Oriental Pratincole was getting very annoyed as we approached, it's possibly on a nest?

It was time to head back to Bangkok for a bird free day and a much needed relax and rest at the airport's Novotel hotel, before flying and driving to the other birding hotspot Krung Ching, for more full on birding.


Fred said...

Sounds like an awesome trip, very jealous.
Great photos too, really tells the story of how amazing the area is.

Coates Wildlife Tours said...

Great photographs, it's always a challenge to get good bird pics! The rainforest reminds me of the rainforests of Costa Rica - similar wildlife diversity and bright colours!

Crash said...

Wow! great post - thanks for the pics and the vicarious experience!

Take Care

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