Day 1. Our first stop was at the Pak Thale Shorebird Site
for some of Matt’s special targets.
arrived at first light and began our birding on the track leading to the old
pump shed. Many species were present as usual, including; a good size flock of
Caspian Terns, Curlews and Whimbrels, Lesser and Greater Sand Plovers, Pacific
Golden Plovers and Long Toed Stints among many others. We scoped the flocks
left and right up and down the track in search of the Spoon-Billed Sandpipers,
but none were present among the Curlew, Broad-Billed, Long-Toed and Red Necked
We headed to the concrete road up to the view point next to
try our luck. In the first salt pan, amongst nice group of feeding Spotted and
Common Redshanks and Common Greenshanks was a lone Nordmann’s Greenshank.
The Nordmann’s Greenshank was one of Matt’s
big targets, so as expected he was over the moon…
In the next salt pan up there was a growing flock of Stints,
mainly Red-Necked. As we scoped, more and more birds arrived, but still no sign
of the Spoonie. Then I got one, straight on staring straight at me. I called to
Matt quickly to look through my scope, but just as he began to move the whole
flock was spooked by something and took flight. As the morning wore on, we
continued racking up the numbers. The flocks returned, but we didn’t manage any
more views of the Spoonie that morning.
At lunch time we decided to call it a day and headed off for
Kaeng Krachan NP. We arrived at Samarn Birdcamp at around 1pm, checked in,
grabbed some lunch and headed straight to Luung Sin’s Pond.
The afternoon session proved really fruitful with some great
birds dropping in to bathe and drink. Some of the highlights included Large and
White-Browed Scimitar Babblers, Banded Bay Cuckoo, White-bellied Erpornis,
Brown-Cheeked Fulvettas, Racket-Tailed Treepies and Tickells’ Blue Flycatcher.
Although they were seen that morning, no Siberian Blue Robins showed up.
We headed back to the resort around 5:30 for some great food
and refreshments and a well-deserved rest.
|Banded Bay Cuckoo|
|Large Scimitar Babbler|
|White-Browed Scimitar Babbler|
|Tickells’ Blue Flycatcher|
Day 2. The next morning after breakfast we headed straight
into the park for what turned out to be another great day’s birding. First stop
at around Km 9, Black-Thighed Falconets perched high up on a dead tree, Common
Flamebacks, Dollarbirds and Green-Billed Malkoha all showed nicely. We birded
along the access road getting more and more species including a Crested-Serpent
Eagle posing nicely on a tree before arriving at Ban Krang Campsite.
From the campsite we continued birding along the road
between the streams getting even more great birds in the bag… Banded and Dusky
Broadbills showed well, a fantastic Orange-Breasted Trogon sat a few feet away
from us, 3 Black-Naped Monarchs sitting on nests and a pair of Black-Backed
Kingfishers were observed starting to burrow their nest.
After lunch we headed up to Panoen Thung to try our luck.
Long-Tailed Broadbills were very briefly seen and a White-Browed Piculet and Silver-Breasted Broadbills made
the drive worthwhile among others.
Back at the resort for the evening, I made a change to our
plan. We had planned to hit up another water hole the next morning, but I
decided to go back to Luung Sin’s in hope of seeing Siberian Blue Robins, a
really big target for Matt…
Day 3. The following morning, we got there just after first
light and the first bird ??? A sub-adult
male Siberian Blue Robin. Well, what a start… at least 4 other Robins showed,
males, a female and sub-adults putting a big smile on Matt’s face. Other birds
of the morning included: Kalij Pheasant, Scaly-Breasted Partridges, Yellow
-Rumped Flycatcher, a distant Bar-Backed Partridge and Greater and Lesser
|Siberian Blue Robin (M)|
|Siberian Blue Robin (sub-adult M)|
|Yellow -Rumped Flycatcher|
After a spot of lunch we headed back to Matt’s resort, where
he would continue a couple of day’s solo birding before heading back to
A thoroughly great 3 days birding with Matt, a really great
guy and a good friend. Hope to meet up again someday for the next adventure……