Friday, December 28, 2012

Farm Bangbuathong

So,, The garden is turning into a little farm now. The quails are laying everyday and the latest addition, the mushrooms are producing a couple of kilos everyday........Really sick of mushroom omelettes 5555555555555

Anyone for mushrooms????????

OFFICIAL.. Father Christmas goes camping!!!

So..Who says Father Christmas doesn't go camping?? Well a few days at Kaeng Krachan over Christmas  turned up more than just wildlife.. The big man and his reindeer headed west, had his milk and biscuits and dropped off the pressies right on schedule..

With good weather and the fun of Christmas it was good to meet up with Mike Bruce and his father and as always Khun Samarn. The trip itself turned up many birds including the Ratchet Tailed Treepie although I only got a picture of the tail!! Amongst the other highlights were Black Winged Cuckoo Shrike, Flavescent Bulbul, Grey Peacock-Pheasant, Red Headed and Orange Breasted Trogon, Yellow Vented Flowerpecker, Streaked Spiderhunter, White Fronted Scops Owl and my favourite...Hoopoe!! Oh and an all too common sighting of a pair of leopards!!

Black Winged Cuckoo Shrike

Flavescent Bulbul

Grey Peacock-Pheasant


Orange Breasted Trogon

Red Headed Trogon

Streaked Spiderhunter.

White Fronted Scops Owl

Yellow Vented Flowerpecker

Leopard (spot the rivet!!!!)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Kaeng Krachan (the first weekend)

The first trip to KK since re opening this year turned up a few nice sightings for me.. It did seem a bit quiet on the bird front, but we still saw quite a few.  A nice little group of  Chestnut Headed Bee-Eaters taking a dip in the stream at Bang Kran. Plenty of Red Throated Flycatchers around the camping area, a lonesome Verditer Flycatcher, a pair of Blue Bearded Bee-Eaters, Crimson Sunbirds, a pair of Violet Cuckoos, plenty of Blue Winged Leafbirds and a few Fairy Bluebirds.

Blue Winged Leafbird

Red Throated Flycatcher

Verditer Flycatcher

Violet Cuckoo

Walking back down the track from the Youth Scout Camp area turned up a nice Besra which obliged nicely for a few snaps. On the same track, I was amazed as a Leopard Cat strolled out right in front of me, then dashed straight back into the undergrowth.Totally gutted I didn't get a picture.....


Sunday morning. We had thought of taking the drive up to Panoen Tung, but after making a coffee and watching  82  trucks pass by from 6-7am we kinda decided against it... This was our first and last weekend trip !!! Each pick up had about 6-8 people in the back.. Must have been one hell of a party up there.. Driving back throught the fields of Petchaburi turned up a huge Black Eagle which sort of rounded off another nice trip.. 

Black Eagle

Thanks to Lenny W down in Pattaya for the help in identifying some of the above....

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Camping at Chaloem Rattanakosin

Well, It's the last day before work begins again.. A few nights camping  (again) were in order  for the last week.. Never been to Chaloem Rattanakosin before, so we went to check it out.. Other than being "too accessible", it was a pleasant place. Just don't think I would advise it at the weekends! We read over 60 bird species have been recorded in the park, but very few were showing. We only saw a few drongos and minivets The best sightings being a Black Eagle and Grey Wagtail... One species quite common there was a Cave Myna  (from local translation) Not really sure about this one!! Anyhow some great scenery and great views..A nice trip all round

Friday, October 19, 2012

Camping at Samarn Bird Camp 

Me and Jas

What with Kaeng Krachan still not open but   re-opening soon, a little camping trip was in order. Naturally, we headed out that way and checked out Samarn Bird Camp. I have passed this pleasant looking little resort many times as it's  only a kilometre before the park entrance but never ventured in.Well I must say I was really surprised!! This is a great little place and very child friendly too.......                                                    


 As well as the camping ground there are about 8 air conditioned places to stay and a nice little restaurant area.Khun Samarn and Khun Oy put out food and fruit for the birds everyday, so there are many resident species around all year. Also there are two hides just inside a jungle clearing around a little pool. Great for pictures but just make sure you don't forget the mossie cream!!

A few of our pics over three days.......                                                                                                        

Black Naped Monarch

                                              Black Crested Bulbul


Golden Fronted Leafbird                                                       

Pied fantail

Puff Throated Babbler

Red Legged Crake

  Siberian Blue Robin


 Black Crested Bulbul

 Tickell's Blue Flycatcher

Vinous Breasted Starling

White Rumped Shama

I think not too bad  for the first real outing for the new D7000... I really like this camera!!!


Saying Goodbye....

Finally to say,  This is a really friendly little place. Khun Samarn is a very kind and knowledgeable man and offers guided tours and trips into the  National Park. Even if you are not into birds, this is a great just to relax and chill out in the gardens.

Anyone interested in staying here should contact....        Home.02 422 6308  /   Mob 081 8107307    or                                                                          

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Pies Pies Pies !!

 Well, not much to shout about this week..other than the pie press is finally finished and had it's first run out yesterday. They were so damn expensive to buy so thought I'd make one.. And here it is in all it's glory!!
So, on the first run.. The press performed beautifully.(never had a doubt for one minute). Filled the foil trays to perfection.'Waiting for the orders now!!"

The chosen filling for the day was chicken and mushroom.. a good old favourite..

So here are a few of the final pieces of today's labour. Formed to perfection, filled and closed as perfect as any $1000 machine.. And then off to the oven!!! The press is just perfect but obviously I'm not, Cos I Burnt em!!  This part I see will take a bit of practice.. But the taste ???   "FANTASTIC !!"

Next week in the next episode:

Steak and Kidney
Beef and Onion
Beef and Potato
Cheese and Broccoli

I'll just try not to burn them!!!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Phuttamonton Park

A last minute decision to go to the park today turned out to be a bit of a wash out.Twenty minutes after we arrived the heavens opened and that was that for picture taking (other than snapping away from inside the truck..)  You know, I really should have looked up before we left. That might have given me a bit of a clue!!!
Still, the trusty spotter pointed out out a nice Green Billed Malkoha.

The rain certainly brought out a few other animals, mainly the cool looking ( well I think so) monitor lizards. I know we have been known to sunbathe, but is it possible to "rainbathe????" This one did!!

As the light started to fade , we made our move home. Driving out we noted, Coppersmith Barbets, Small Minivets, Javan Pond Herons and many various Egrets.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Beginning.....

So here it is.. My first real attempt at blogging.My main passion here is photography, especially birds. I am hoping to build this site by giving advice about birding in Thailand, posting pictures, tips and birding sites for all to see and read along with my blogs. Another passion of mine is pies so I may post some of my favourite recipes and pie stories from time to time.I will gladly welcome any posts, comments or input. ( I'm sure I'll need the help!!) I hope to run regular features on local and the 'big' birding sites around  Thailand, so let me know yours. Also I will run up-to date reviews on photographic equipment as new gear hits the market. Let's hope you will enjoy reading this blog as much as I will writing it.

Kaeng Krachan (The Trip That Wasn't)

So.. For the last few weeks of July I'd been promising myself to get back to KK . The first attempt ended in a domestic the night before, so no luck there. The next week, got it all sorted and planned for Friday morning but come the day, Jasmin, my eight year old and chief spotter came down with the flu....Damn!!! For the following week I had announced 'Nothing will stop me this time'... So there we all were ,4am leaving the house and on the way on the 3rd of August. Three hours later we arrived at the main gate only to be asked.. "Bai Nai??' (where you go?)  "Ban Krang" I said, to which he replied "Mai Dai! Bit Krup!" (Cannot, Closed!) Then the penny dropped, I knew the park closed every year but I really thought it was from September to October. Not August to October (as it is).. So off we trotted back home. All was not lost though. After sitting in a 'nice' traffic jam for a hour, I discovered a new species!!! I called it  "The Flame Backed Vigo"

"Flame Backed Vigo"

Kaeng Krachan.....

Now I won't claim to be a 'pro' or anything special when it comes to taking pictures as my results probably show.. but I am learning and getting better with age (just wish my wife would say that!!!)
Here's my list for the three short trips....  Asian Fairy Bluebird,  Paradise Flycatcher, Banded Kingfisher (female) Black and Red Broadbill, Black and Yellow Broadbill , Black-Backed Kingfisher, Black-Naped Monarch, Blue-Throated Barbet, Blue-Winged Leafbird, Blue-Winged Pitta, Brown Hawk-Owl, Brown Hornbill, Orange Breasted Trogon, Collared Owlet, Crested Serpent-Eagle,(I think) , Great Barbet, Greater Goldenback, Greater Yellownape, Green Magpie, Heart-Spotted Woodpecker, Laced Woodpecker, Long Tailed Broadbill, Red Bearded Bee-Eater, Red Jungle Fowl, Silver Breasted Broadbill , White Rumped Shama, and few more including a few different Bulbuls.

Pick of my pics. All pictures taken on my trusty old D80 and 70-300 vr lens
 Please let me know if I have mis-named any of these..

Red Bearded Bee-Eater

Black Naped Monarch

Black and Red Broadbill

Black and Yellow Broadbill

Long Tailed Broadbill

Siler Breasted Broadbill

Banded Kingfisher

Black Backed Kingfisher

Heart Spotted Woodpecker

Laced Woodpecker


Collared Owlet

Crested Serpent Eagle

Orange Breasted Trogon